Discriminates Against Divorced Fathers, Children
Israel News Agency
York, New York --- December 6, 2011 .... The UN, which has a long,
documented history for bashing Israel at almost each and every
opportunity, has come out today on behalf of divorced fathers
and their children in Israel. It is unfortunate that thousands
of loving, caring and responsible dads in Israel had to go to
the UN to illustrate how blatant gender bias discrimination is
under Israel law.
UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has declared
that Israel discriminates against divorced fathers. That fathers
in Israel who have gone through divorce often lose contact with
their children solely because they are male. The United Nations
has called upon Israel to cancel the Tender Years Clause that
grants automatic custody to women for all children under six years
of age. The UN has pointed out that the Jewish state, which is
supposed to be well respected for its values when it comes to
family, is said to be the last country in the world not to have
canceled this legal clause.
of fathers in Israel are made into second class citizens as they
are provided just a few hours a week to see their own children.
Many can only see their children in a supervised center as a result
of false charges being made against the men by their ex-wives.
These criminal charges are never investigated by the court or
by child welfare due to a lack of funding, making the fathers
into "visitors" rather than full time dads. The fathers
must find thousands of dollars to retain attorneys and forensic
psychologists in order to clear their names, money for which the
majority of dads in Israel do not have as a result of low wages
and high taxes.
In the concluding
remarks of meetings held in Geneva in November and December, the
UN committee wrote that:
Committee is concerned that, in the case of a divorce, custody
of children up to the age of six is always given to mothers, and
that fathers are often required to pay child support awards that
exceed their income, and if not that their freedom of movement
is seriously curtailed. The Committee is concerned that divorced
fathers often are required to visit their children in supervised
visitation centers during their working hours, which leads to
the accumulation of work absences and the risk of dismissal."
The UN in
making this statement addresses the fact that as long as the father
owes child support he is prevented from leaving the country, even
if his work is international.
"The Committee recommends that the State party amend the
Capacity and Guardianship Law so that custody of children up to
the age of six is not always given to mothers, and ensure that
child support awards do not lead to an inadequate standard of
living for the father."
The UN in
making the above statement addresses the law preventing and or
limiting contact between father and child until the age of six.
What is not stated here is that even after the age of six, family
courts and child welfare departments from Tel Aviv, Ra'anana and
Haifa to Jerusalem, Metulla and Eilat maintain this gender bias
discrimination. Discrimination which often leads to PAS - Parental
Alienation Syndrome where the mother poisons the child against
the father and the father eventually gives up and walks away -
leaving the child with no father role model.
The UN committee
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights comprises of independent
experts and monitors the implementation of the International Covenant
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights by individual countries.
The UN committee heard testimony from representatives of the Israel
Coalition for Children and Families, an Israeli group that fights
for the rights of children and their fathers in divorce. Following
the testimony, the experts posed questions to a 12-person delegation
from Israel. A source on the committee said that the experts noted
that there was a high suicide rate among divorced men in Israel,
amounting to half of all suicides.
fathers from Israel also said that this was reportedly because
family rights for divorced couples were very biased towards mothers
and restricted access of men to children and the family home to
a degree rarely seen in any other State, and that the situation
for divorced fathers was "apparently hellish."
The UN asked
if it was true that divorced fathers were not allowed to leave
Israel until they had paid approximately 20 years of alimony.
The Israeli delegation did not provide direct responses to these
CCF was founded by Daniel Zer, a father who has not been able
to see his own six-year-old son for over three years, allegedly
because the child's mother does not want him to see him, and the
social workers in Israel agreed with her that the child has no
need for a father in his life.
filed a motion to the High Court and asked it to declare that
UN conventions forbid the state from denying a child the right
to family life. The High Court refused to declare that fathers
have rights to see their children, based on international law.
4 Justice Israel, another group of dedicated fathers which
works with the Coalition for Children and Families, stated that
fathers in Israel can carry M-16's in the IDF to protect the state,
but are not allowed to carry their own children.
A spokesperson told the Israel News Agency that representatives
of Fathers 4 Justice Israel had gone to Haiti after the 2009 earthquake
to aid hundreds of children there in rebuilding orphanages, providing
clean water and food and making certain that the children had
electricity and clean beds to sleep in.
After risking their lives in Haiti, these fathers returned to
Israel and where they were denied contact with their own children.
severe suffering that these fathers and their children go though
cannot be measured," said J from Fathers 4 Justice Israel,
who cannot use his real name as a result of gag orders that the
secret family courts apply. "The emotional abuse that these
fathers and their children are subjected to often leaves permanent
scars. Many fathers commit suicide while the children's behavior
remains greatly affected in terms of their being able to adjust
to school, work, suffering from anxiety, depression and being
able to create normal, healthy relationships."
apparent that the Israel Ministry of Justice in Israel and Child
Welfare departments simply do not care about the mental health
of these fathers and their children. Hopefully, the UN can wake
them up and place them in the spotlight for all global human rights
organizations to see."
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