Friday, February 2, 2007

Father sues Government for 10 Million

Father's Rights Activist Sues Israel, Ra'anana for 10 Million

By Herb Brandon
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem ----- February 2 .... A divorced Israel father who has been prevented from seeing his child with equal access is planning to sue the State of Israel, the City of Ra'anana, Ra'anana Mayor Nahum Hofree and his ex-wife for criminal and civil damages sustained from emotional abuse, gender bias discrimination and criminal harassment.

"Divorced fathers and their children in Israel have long been the victims of gender bias discrimination," said the dad of a 6-year-old. The father, whose name can not be published due to the Israel family law privacy act, stated: "I was evicted from my home, without due process on false charges of sexual harassment by my former wife when we were married, was arrested under false premises and brought to the police by private detectives who identified themselves as police, had my property removed from my home and stolen by private detectives and the state, have watched my child suffer from regression caused by continued conflict created by my ex, and have lost income due to criminal harassment, emotional abuse, depression and negligence caused by my ex and the City of Ra'anana's Child Welfare Department."

Divorced fathers and their children in Israel presently suffer from gender bias discrimination by the Israel Knesset, family courts, the police and local child welfare departments. Blatant discrimination and the forced separation of father from child stems from an outdated law passed by the Israel Knesset in 1962. The Family Custodian Act of 1962 clearly states that all children under the age of six will automatically have custody under their mother, unless the mother is violent, drug abuser or negligent.

Joint custody in Israel is rare. Most couples who divorce in Israel find it difficult to decide on anything together. Without the cooperation of both parents in Israel, their is no joint custody or shared parenting. Israel family courts will only accept joint custody arrangements when both sides agree. The father is cast away by the mother, the justice and child welfare systems in Israel as a second class citizen. The dad turns into a "cash machine" paying child support every month while being denied equal access to their children. As a result, children become alienated from their fathers suffering from Parental Child Alienation Syndrome, crying from the immediate and long term adverse behavioral effects of divorce and separation for years to come.

We question why is it that dads in Israel can carry an M-16 to protect the State of Israel but are not allowed to carry their own children?

- A divorced dad seeking to secure equal access to his child

"Loving, caring and responsible dads in Israel will no longer accept the role of victim for themselves and their children," the divorced father stated. "The father's rights movement in Israel has organized itself very well. We question why is it that dads in Israel can carry an M-16 to protect the State of Israel but are not allowed to carry their own children? We have a long list of family and child psychologists who will testify on our behalf, including tons of research material from several respected institutions including the American Psychological Association (APA) which explicitly state that joint custody and or equal access actually reduces conflict between divorced parents and that children critically need equal time by both parents."

The APA states that 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.

One of Israel's most respected family attorneys, Naftali Shilo, of the Israel law firm Frimer, Gellman and Shilo had stated that there are many other nightmare stories for which divorced dads in Israel have suffered from.

"There is another divorced dad from the central Israel who had his young daughter kidnapped to England in 2001," Shilo said. "We went to the UK and filed abduction charges against the mother and won. The child was then brought back to Israel. In 2002, the mother again filed in family court to take the child away from the father and bring the child to England stating the Israel was a country at war. And again both the English and Israel courts denied her from taking the child away from the father. Reforms in family law are slow in Israel, but at present there is progress with a Knesset Committee now examining a move to abolish the Knesset Custodian Act of 1962 which presumes that the mother is the better parent."

Recently the Jerusalem Post, the New York Times and several other well respected media have addressed and substantiated the emotional suffering and damage sustained by both divorced dads and their children. In the United States, reform in family law is quickly taking hold and a US Presidential candidate, respected psychiatrist Dr. Mark Klein, is campaigning on a platform based on family issues and mandatory joint custody in all divorce cases.

As far back as 1981 many states in the US began adopting reforms in family law. The New York State Assembly and Senate approved a law to require judges to consider joint custody of children in divorce cases if one or both of the parents requests such an arrangement.

There are dozens of fathers' rights groups in the States, including the American Coalition for Fathers and Children, Dads Against Discrimination and the Alliance for Noncustodial Parents Rights. They may not have the name recognition that Fathers 4 Justice has on its own turf, but they work quietly behind the scenes, pushing for custody laws like the ones Iowa and Maine have passed, lobbying Congress and generally doing what they can to improve not just the rights but also the image of divorced fathers.

In this last task, oddly enough, these groups have benefited from federal initiatives designed to motivate divorced or never-wed fathers who care all too little about their kids, as publicly financed ad campaigns remind the public how indispensable fathers are. (''Fathers Matter,'' shouted ads on New York City buses last year.) Fathers' groups also benefit from a more general recognition that fathers, at least in some socioeconomic circles, are now much more involved in their children's lives. Some of that involvement is born of necessity, given how many mothers work, but necessity also seems to have effected a cultural shift, ushering in the era of the newly devoted dad.

The traditional custody arrangement, with Mom as sole custodian and Dad demoted to weekend visitor, may have been painful, but practical, in a family with a 50's-style division of labor; but to the father who knows every Wiggle by name, the pediatrician's number by heart and how to make a bump-free ponytail, such an arrangement could be perceived as an outrage, regardless of what might be more convenient or who is the primary caretaker.

The divorced Israel dad who is now planning to sue the State of Israel, the City of Ra'anana and his ex-wife for 10 million dollars says: "We are going to hit them where it hurts - in the pocketbook. We are going to remove insensitive, callous public officials from office. For once, both the Israel Ministry of Health, Israel Ministry of Justice, the mayors and the child welfare departments of Ra'anana and other Israel cities and towns will know that loving, responsible and caring divorced dads are not just banks for narcissistic and destructive mothers. Reform in family law is coming to Israel and hopefully less tears and a healthier future for our children."

Related Web sites:
Father's 4 Justice Israel,
The Jerusalem Post

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