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Barbara Streisand's Cousin living in Aliya hell in Israel

Marianne Azizi photo
Marianne AziziIsrael
Barbara Streisand's Cousin living in Aliya hell in Israel
Dale Streisand, cousin of famous singer Barbara Streisand is trapped in Israel, with no status as family torn apart

Does the State of Israel have something against Dale Streisand? After nearly 6 years, and 3 attempts to make Aliya he has still not achieved his ambition.

Dale Streisand and his Jewish Philippino wife and children are languishing in the town of Sefad in Israel. They are unable to complete their Aliya process. What started as a dream in 2011 is gradually turning into a marathon effort to be accepted to live and raise the family in Israel.

His story was first published in 2011 by Haaretz Newspaper, when Dale was refused Aliya due to ‘liking’ a post on Facebook of a Christian friend. He was denied the right to live in Israel, and with a wife who was then 6 months pregnant, he had to return to the Phillipines. Under an instruction to attend Chabad classes for 6 months, Dale complied. Every month he had to travel by two boats to attend the class. On the 6th month, unfortunately for him the centre was closed. Undeterred, he believed that he had done enough. Returning again to Israel, he was told that he had not completed the requirement and to ‘go back and do it again’.

Finally, in 2014, Dale returned to Israel trusting he had ticked all the boxes and was accepted for Aliya. However, he also had brought the daughter he raised from a former marriage (age 14), who found it extremely difficult to settle in Israel.

He had full custody of his daughter from the age of 5, due to violence against her by the mother. Proof is in all his hospital documents in her history. The girl’s mother wanted nothing to do with her, actually offering $50 to give him full custody; and he raised the girl successfully as a single dad most of her life. Originally born in Australia, she couldn’t grasp the language, and was going through a difficult teenage time. One evening in the middle of an argument, his daughter went to a neighbour who told her to go to a social worker.

At that moment, his life changed. His daughter was removed from the home and placed in a boarding school. It is impossible to imagine how she must have felt to have immigrated and find herself in care. Dale fought for his daughter, but sadly for him a report was made against him for ‘violence’ towards the daughter. Immediately, his Aliya process halted. The money promised for his new start didn’t materialise, nor all the associated benefits for new immigrants to Israel. The social worker Tova Ben Yehuda (pictured) has refused to help him ever since, even though they have acknowledged his teenage daughter was overreacting, they have not expunged the claims of violence made against him. This is a common trick used repeatedly in Israel but Dale had no idea. She told him he would never again have a say in his daughter’s life. Not one person in authority has listened to his side of the story – again common for men, particularly fathers.

Tova Ben Yehuda - Social Worker

Relentlessly the social workers and the authorities have dismantled Dale’s family.  After Tova Ben Yehuda was demoted, another social worker is now in charge of his case.  Graziella Kerbel:

Graziella Kerbel - Social Worker

The police went to the kindergarten and asked his 4 year old son questions without allowing an adult to accompany him. Dale says his son is still very traumatised from this. Unable to work, he dipped into his savings to feed his family – now 3 children, the youngest being only 5 months old. He is now in a desperate position with his family in limbo. He is held in Israel with a No Exit Order and his Aliya hell is ongoing.

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri also took his file this year and nothing has happened.  The Minister himself returned to the same office after serving time in prison for corruption

Many opposed Deri's return to the Knesset, stating their concerns, although Benjamin Netanyahu cleared the appointment with then Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein - who is also under scrutiny due to discrepancies in overlooking one of the biggest tax frauds in modern day history.

Dale says ‘I have waited over 2 years. I want to raise my children in Israel, a Jewish country. But our lives have become a nightmare. My papers have only just been seen by the Attorney General’s office in the last week, and I was told they were unaware of my situation! I believe the social worker has already agreed that my daughter may have lied, but I need a confirmation from the Attorney General’s office to strike this ‘criminal’ record.’

He also has an added challenge. His wife has less than 1 month to run on her passport. They need to apply for a new passport, which will run over the allowed time her passport will be valid in Israel. More red tape for the family, and they have expressed their fears for their children. His eldest son is now unable to receive any medical help, soon his wife will be an illegal in Israel and he fears for his children. But Dale also has a No Exit Order upon him. He is in a total catch 22, and looming ahead is the destruction of his entire family, though in essence this is already happening.

It appears that Dale and his family are not being welcomed with open arms. As a first cousin of Barbara Streisand, he talks of his long Jewish birth right, and his path to a fuller orthodox lifestyle.  In the interview on Israel News he talks lovingly of his cousin.

Dale was hoping for good news. He had been informed that a report would be filed into the Attorney General’s office by the end of October, and from then he should wait for an outcome. It seems unlikely that this will happen in the short term. The authorities are not renowned for acting quickly for families in distress, especially with an Aliya application.

If things continue at the same speed, it is likely the Streisand family will have to return to the Philippines which is something they don’t want to do. Their children are Jewish, and the parents are desperate to be assimilated into Israel. Dale is slowly coming to the understanding that Israel is not the land of his religion and the systems are not here to support and help people. The problem is Dale will not be able to join his family as he is trapped in Israel, and as one of his children born in Israel, the baby, it is possible the baby will be declared a ‘property of the State’.

This short video intervew was made 3 months ago, and his situation is becoming more desperate by the day.

One of the saddest things for Dale is that he is very afraid that if he speaks out, he could lose his children or be put into jail. This prevalent fear in anyone affected by the system means few speak out. It is the reason why so much is unreported in Israel. Words cannot convey the desperation of a man trying to protect his wife and children; and not having that right.

“All I want is for this false claim to be expunged, and my Aliya process to continue, so we can live like normal people again” Dale says. “But it appears my dream of Israel is shattered. The corruption here is preventing me from living a normal life. I don’t know why this is so difficult. The Ministry of Interior have the authority to fix these misunderstandings, but I’m waiting to the point that my children are hungry.”

He spoke out in a recent conference of Human Rights Violations against New Immigrants and Israelis – the first ever of its kind in Israel.

“I am terrified that if I do speak out, I will make the authorities angry and they will turn on me” he says. “But I have no choice. Every day things are becoming more desperate. I don’t know where to turn for help for my children. My wife is terrified. She was told by the police that many families get broken like this and the Welfare  take children. It’s unimaginable hell. But all I want is to be free to take care of my family one way or another.

The hope is that putting things right will not come too late for Dale and his family. The State has already taken one child. The others are at risk; his wife may be forced to leave soon. He needs help, and there is no one listening and in the meantime his children are becoming poorer and poorer. His loyalty to Israel is wavering, but he loves the land and the people – a common dilemma for millions of people.

This is not the first time Aliya recruiters Nefesh b'Nefesh have neglected to follow through and help immigrants to assimilate.

Whilst Dale is rapidly losing faith in his dream of living in a land where his children are well adjusted; he speaks with caution and a shred of hope.  Many other Israelis are not so polite.  A recent major protest against Judicial corruption caught the headlines in Israel, as thousands of men have committed suicide from biased court decisions.

Many Americans do NOT read the travel warning on the US government page:

Court Jurisdiction: Civil and religious courts in Israel actively exercise their authority to bar certain individuals, including nonresidents, from leaving the country until debts or other legal claims against them are resolved. Israel's religious courts exercise jurisdiction over all citizens and residents of Israel in cases of marriage, divorce, child custody, and child support. U.S. citizens should be aware that they might be subject to involuntary and prolonged stays in Israel if a case is filed against them in a religious court, even if their marriage took place in the United States and regardless of whether their spouse is present in Israel........

Perhaps if they did, there would not be so many Americans like Dale who receive no help from their country of origin.  Israel is turning up the heat on human rights violations, and showing no discrimination in who is hurt, people are more and more afraid to speak out for their human and civil rights.  Children pay the biggest price of all.

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