Israel Fathers Children Rights Group To Demonstrate

By Israel News Agency Staff

Tel Aviv----March 3......The Israel Fathers Family Rights Advocates Council, an Israel civil rights group campaigning to establish equal parenting status for both parents in child custody proceedings, is organizing a protest demonstration at the Kfar Sava Family Courthouse for Sunday at noon.

The Israel Fathers Rights Advocacy Council (IFRAC) is an evolutionary, dynamic international movement with specific objectives and targets needed to achieve for the critical needs of children and their families. The child's best interest principle addresses that the child's best interest was most served by children maintaining a loving, meaningful relationship with both parents.

"It is child abuse on a national level not to allow a child to see his father for no rational reason other than gender bias"

- Gary Pickholz, Israel Fathers Children Rights Advocacy Council

"It is child abuse on a national level not to allow a child to see his father for no rational reason other than gender bias," said Gary Pickholz, member of the executive committee of the Israel Fathers Children Family Advocacy Council." Hundreds of Israel children a day are torn away from loving caring dads, let alone the social implications, unwanted teenage pregnancies, teenage crime, drug abuse, the list is endless, is it no wonder we have so many problems within Israel schools? All this and more are major contributing negative factors to the great many problems we have in Israel society. The governments, local welfare departments and family courts incompetence and lack of interest to put this right is devastating to our children."

Ra'anana and Kfar Sava are suburban cities north of Tel Aviv which suffer the highest divorce rate in Israel. The Mayor of Ra'anana, Israel was contacted for comment regarding what role he has personally taken regarding his welfare's department (revacha) abiding by the Tender Years Doctrine. Mayor Zeev Bielski has refused all comment.

Pickholtz added: "Is it in the child's best interests to deny them the love of their parents? Is it in the child's best interests that their parents are forced onto benefits or effectively asset stripped fighting protracted legal battles when they have no hope of seeing their children because Judges in Israel refuse to enforce their own orders? Often the very people who proclaim to be acting in the child's best interest are those who profit the most. Money (often savings, salaries, equity in property) for your children quickly becomes an income stream for advocates, judges, and a grotesque gravy train of other 'experts'. Outcomes for children have never been worse."

Present Israel law, which has been influenced by Jewish law, states that unless the mother is violent, a drug abuser or extremely negligent, custody is automatically awarded to the mother up to the age of six.

"This is what was referred to as the "Tender Years Doctrine," says Pickholtz. "This doctrine was outlawed in most Western countries due to its blatant civil rights discrimination based on the gender of the parent and not the best interest of the parent. Today, the world's largest and most respected body of child psychologists working within the American Psychological Association have stated that children from divorced families who either live with both parents at different times or spend certain amounts of time with each parent are better adjusted in most cases than children who live and interact with just one parent. This is based on new research on custody arrangements and children's adjustment," says Pickholtz.

Children in joint custody arrangements had less behavior and emotional problems, had higher self-esteem, better family relations and school performance than children in sole custody arrangements.
And these children were as well-adjusted as intact family children on the same measures, states the American Psychological Association, "probably because joint custody provides the child with an opportunity to have ongoing contact with both parents."

These findings indicate to every Knesset member, every mayor in Israel, every social worker, child psychologist and family court judge in Israel that children do not actually need to be in a joint physical custody to show better adjustment but just need to spend substantial time with both parents, especially with their fathers, said the APA. Also, joint custody couples reported less conflict, possibly because both parents could participate in their children's lives equally and not spend the time arguing over childcare decisions. Unfortunately a perception exists that joint custody is more harmful because it exposes children to ongoing parental conflict. In fact, the studies in this review found that sole-custody parents reported higher levels of conflict, the APA states.

"We are watching our children suffer from the Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) which is a medical and legal term describing what many children suffer from resulting from a court's reinforcement of the systematic denigration by one parent by the other with the intent of alienating the child against the other parent", said Pickholtz.

Pickholtz states that the purpose of the alienation is usually to gain or retain custody without the involvement of the father. The alienation usually extends to the father's family and friends as well. Dr. Richard Gardner in his book 'The Parental Alienation Syndrome' states "Many of these children proudly state that their decision to reject their fathers is their own. They deny any contribution from their mothers. And the mothers often support this vehemently. In fact, the mothers will often state that they want the child to visit with the father and recognize the importance of such involvement, yet such a mother's every act indicates otherwise.

Such children appreciate that, by stating the decision is their own, they assuage mothers guilt and protect her from criticism. Such professions of independent thinking are supported by the mother who will often praise these children for being the kind of people who have minds of their own and are forthright and brave enough to express overtly their opinions. Frequently, such mothers will exhort their children to tell them the truth regarding whether or not they really want to see their fathers. The child will usually appreciate that "the truth" is the profession that they hate the father and do not want to see him ever again. They thereby provide that answer - couched as "the truth" - which will protect them from their mother's anger if they were to state what they really wanted to do, which is to see their fathers.

It is important for the reader to appreciate that after a period of programming the child may not know what is the truth any more and come to actually believe that the father deserves the vilification being directed against him. The end point of the brainwashing process has then been achieved.

Recently, The Israel Ministry of Health and the Israel Ministry of Justice have been taking a hard, serious look at the benefits of joint custody in the Jewish state. Joint custody might very well be the best option for children of separation and divorce, an American family psychology study found.

Trekking from Mom's home during the week to Dad's on the weekend may seem like a hassle for some children of divorced parents, but it just might be best for them in the long run, concludes a meta-analysis, published in the March Journal of Family Psychology (Vol. 16, No. 1). The study finds that children from divorced families are better adjusted when they live with both parents at different homes or spend significant time with both parents compared with children who interact with only one parent.

Robert Bauserman, PhD, of the Baltimore Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, reviewed 33 studies that examined 1,846 sole-custody and 814 joint-custody children. Both groups of children were compared with a sample of 251 kids in intact families. Bauserman found that children in joint-custody arrangements had fewer behavioral and emotional problems, higher self-esteem and better family relationships and school performance compared with those in sole-custody situations. And he found no significant difference in adjustment among children in shared custody and those living in intact family situations.

Joint-custody children probably fare better, according to Bauserman, because they have ongoing contact with both parents. The contact with both parents, he argues, is the key ingredient in kids' adjustment, he said. The findings indicate that children don't necessarily need to be in joint physical custody to show better adjustment, they just need to spend substantial time with both parents. Also, according to the research, couples with joint-custody agreements tend to experience less conflict -- which speaks to the concern that joint custody is harmful to kids because it exposes them to ongoing parental strife. In fact, Bauserman notes, "it was the sole-custody parents who reported higher levels of current conflict."

He found that some research shows that joint custody may actually reduce parental conflict over time. Obviously, joint custody isn't always preferable to sole custody. When one parent is abusive or neglectful sole custody could be the best option for the children, Bauserman says.

The Israel Association for Father's Rights supports the above study as well as other human rights groups based in Israel. The Israel Association for Father's Rights (IAFR) represents over 80,000 members, a large and professional staff of social workers and family attorneys. The IAFR, which is based in Tel Aviv, works closely with the Israel Ministry of Health, the Israel Ministry of Justice and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. Highly visible protests by both the Israel Fathers Rights Association and Fathers 4 Justice (F4J) are now being planned at family court houses in Israel as of the beginning of March, a spokesman stated.

The Israel Association for Father's Rights has been at the legal and ethical forefront fighting against parental abuse by mothers, the legal and callous use of children as pawns in divorce cases, abusive child support (mezonote) decisions, false claims of sexual harassment and the basic human right of full and joint custody for fathers.

Another Israel civil rights groups supporting the fathers rights demonstration this Sunday, Horut Shava, (Hebrew for Equal Parenting) states: "We at Horut Shava believes that only through the caring and cooperation of both parents can children survive the difficulties that arise in divorce situations, and live their lives in the best possible way after the divorce."

"We support parents in Israel who have the best interests of their children in mind, and who understand the importance of participation by both parents in the children's lives," said Pickholz. "Unfortunately, many custodial parents see no value in the presence of the other parent (often fathers) in their children's lives, and some actively work to sabotage any involvement. This psychological warfare is a form of child abuse that frequently causes serious and permanent harm to children. We actively oppose those who engage in this kind of child-harming behavior."


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