Israeli Father wins unprecedented custody of his child
Israel has retained an archaic law called the Tender Years Assumption. This means in family breakdown all children aged 6 and under are given to the mother automatically, whether she is fit for purpose or not. Despite calls by the UNHRC to have the law abolished in 2011, the authorities defied the request, and the continuation of this law has caused anguish for thousands of fathers.
This month - good news. I know this father personally, and he has requested to be anonymous as he knows the fight will continue with any number of false claims against him.
The court has released the judgment in full (names excluded), which can be read in Hebrew here
Today, he told me the judge had done all that was possible NOT to make a decision. She was reluctant to grant custody to the man who had raised his daughter. The mother had tried every trick in the book - despite not wanting nor being able to raise the child.
She made false claims against him for violence; she ran to a battered woman's shelter, she forced the father to go through psychiatric evaluations. The list goes on, and many Israeli fathers recognise this pattern.
However, the father persisted. He fought for over a year, proving SHE was the one who was battling drugs and alcohol addictions. The social workers ignored her problems, preferring that the child stayed with an unfit mother, who was incapable to raise the child, and earned a living from prostitution. This ultra feminist behaviour in the system means nearly every father will lose his bid to raise his children, or even be allowed to see them.
"The judge hates me", he said, "She wanted the mother to make arrangements outside of the court, but in the end, she had no choice but to give me custody of my daughter. It was a long and bloody battle, but I hope this is an inspiration to other fathers to fight. The judge completely resented giving me my daughter. It was unbelievable and to see her forced to do the right thing is a disgrace to the justice system"
The father had a fight against the whole system - evaluators; social workers, and the judge herself. But he told me today, "I had to win, or I would die". It is not an understatement - for men take their lives almost daily in fighting to clear their names of false claims of violence, and do not have the funds for protracted court battles. They are criminalised, most lose their jobs and find themselves either homeless or back with their parents, all hope of resuming any kind of normality is lost.
This victory is almost unique, and due to the background of the mother, it should not have been such a long and hard fight. It is an indication of how difficult it is to get justice for men and fathers in Israel if an alcoholic drug user is deemed a better parent - just on the grounds of being a woman.
A short article in Hebrew is here
Congratulations to a father who deserved to win. I recall when we met, that he was in a desperate situation, but made it his life's work to keep his daughter. It was a treacherous road, and a resounding victory.