Crowdfunded Journalism

Israeli lawyer beats the system to win family rights

Marianne Azizi photo
Marianne AziziIsrael
Israeli lawyer beats the system to win family rights
It's an extraordinary story of betrayal, harassment of a father, and using all the experience of a decade to win his own divorce file: Here, in an exclusive interview, I ask him about his work and how it helped him to represent himself and win in his own personal divorce story in Israel.

How hard is it really for men who are divorcing in Israel?

'It is vital that from the very first day of a breakup, the father insists on his rights. I often meet fathers many years later who have been broken by the system, or had lawyers who didn't really understand how to run a file. Whilst the court cries 'best interest of the child', it must be focused on the best interest of the parents, and to ensure that legally, a father maintains his dignity, rights to his children, and a fair settlement. With the radical feminist lobbies and agenda, many men are so shell shocked at their new reality, they finally act a bit too late. I also was traumatised by the actions of my estranged wife. I could not imagine that I could be so betrayed and with such a prolonged vendetta against me, almost a year of relentless hounding. I was fortunate, that as a juvenile lawyer, and with a criminal legal training background, my ten years experience enabled me to fight with all the tools I had, and on a daily basis if necessary.'

Is there a high degree of parental alienation?

Israeli fathers suffer extreme conditions at the point of separation and divorce. In acrimonious separations, the woman will start the process with a false claim of violence. She will claim the father has been violent for the whole relationship; she is suddenly terrified of him or fears he might look at her in an angry way. She has a host of violent options – domestic, spiritual, financial, dietary, verbal. Over 20,000 claims are made annually, with police statistics saying 88% are false.

The police will take the father from his home; almost never to return. He will receive a restraining order, and possibly face the rest of his life receiving invitations to police for interrogations. A Jewish Israeli father is responsible for 100% of the child support needs, the mother not. He may even be ordered to pay 80-200% of his salary, yes the figure is correct. Double his income! He will be then forced to into mediation; anger management therapy, and psychiatric assessments to prove his is a normative person. During this expensive process, he could be forced to see his children in a contact centre for an hour a week. Contact centres are inhumane places for parents and children with strict guidelines.

From being a father, employed and owning a home one day, the next he is classed as a deadbeat bum, unfit and a complete loser or dangerous. If he posts on social media, he faces prosecution, and endures humiliation at the hands of social workers who have never even met him until then.

If he cannot afford immediate payments, he will face a No Exit Order; freeze on his bank account, driving licence and right to be self employed. This deluge of abuse has caused divorcing fathers to commit suicide on an almost daily basis.

Can you say more about the phenomena of false claims?


’'It can have long term and devastating consequences for a man. There are three ways a police file can be closed – one is for 'not guilty', the second is 'for lack of evidence' and the third is 'lack of public interest' and then to ask the President of Israel to close the file. Long after the event, a man's criminal file stays open. The concept that a man is criminally labelled due to a false complaint is forgotten for all those involved, except for the man himself. For example, I have a client who is now unable to change his job. He wants to be a bus driver or taxi driver, which requires a driving licence to serve the public. His false claim was closed for lack of evidence, but it now prohibits him from getting a different driving licence. He was beaten by his own teenage sons and videoed the event. Despite proving that he was the victim, the file was opened against him by the aggressors, closed but left him with a criminal file.

These false claims can mean a man cannot be hired in jobs overseas, as most files for criminal records are checked for employment. Imagine the life for a man who did nothing wrong, proved it, yet is marked for life. All his dreams and ambitions can be shattered.

What happened to you personally?

I faced one night of 15 false claims, followed by continuous complaints and interrogations, interrupting my job as a juvenile lawyer. My 5 children were snatched from home and put into a shelter, starving.. I was in a fast tracked nightmare and a barrage of attacks, unlike any client I had previously represented.

I found myself in a fight for the survival of my own children.  I know the fate of children taken away, and decided to represent myself in the whole process.

I got all the false claims closed for 'not guilty', and succeeded in rescuing my children after an unprecedented 44 days, ejecting the mother also from the shelter.  

I am now preparing lawsuits against the public officials and the shelter for taking my children with no criteria.

I am also Suing the mother under the directive 2.5 – a law allowing women to lie with impunity, but allegedly changed. I have succeeded before for men who wanted justice for all the false claims made against them.

I removed the welfare from my file, in particular the ex Shabak social worker Alon Dagan, who wrote a false report. Mr. Dagan subsequently 'changed' his report last week to write the mother was obsessive for revenge; had lied throughout and never suffered any violence of any kind. Aware that he faces questioning in court, it is believed Mr. Dagan is trying to do some damage control.

I exposed the judge in the rabbinical court, who had been involved with the other side; and had given carte blanche to the social worker himself to decide the fate of my children. This decision was rescinded.

What advice would you give, in particular to men in a breakup?

'It is vital that from the very first day of a breakup, the father insists on his rights. I often meet fathers many years later who have been broken by the system, or had lawyers who didn't really understand how to run a file. Whilst the court cries 'best interest of the child', it must be focused on the best interest of the parents, and to ensure that legally, a father maintains his dignity, rights to his children, and a fair settlement. With the radical feminist lobbies and agenda, many men are so shell shocked at their new reality, they finally act a bit too late. I also was traumatised by the actions of my estranged wife. I could not imagine that I could be so betrayed and with such a prolonged vendetta against me, almost a year of relentless hounding. I was fortunate, that as a juvenile lawyer, and with a criminal legal training background, my ten years experience enabled me to fight with all the tools I had, and on a daily basis if necessary.'

Having visited the UN in March in Geneva, Attorney Givati released information regarding judicial corruption, accompanied by a report from Coalition for Families and Children, the only independent civil society in Israel which advocates for those whose rights are violated by corruption. Registered in Geneva, Ccf have continued to campaign for children and families since their first visit in 2011.

Targeted as a whistle blower, his personal circumstances became blurred with Deep State interference of hacking; tapping and surveillance. He has become a high profile figure, not necessarily popular with authorities who prefer the corruption to be kept silent.

As he said in a recent interview in the USA:  'My job is to save children, and over 95% success in the past decade. But of course, I had to save my own too. Despite that this process caused great damage to my working habits. But it proves that a relentless and legal approach can bear fruit. The future for my children needed to be established and reassurance they have two parents to raise them.

People should not be afraid to speak out, especially abroad. I was targeted for doing so, and I know others are targeted and harassed too. Despite the concerns, I know that by coming and facing it head on, the courts and authorities are afraid of being in the spotlight. It works, especially in the English language.'

So, given the dire situation for men in Israel, are there any solutions that can work for them in the legal arena?

''Of course. Whilst it is now known in surveys that almost 100% of people have no faith in the judicial system, it must be stressed that the laws themselves are not too bad. It is the application of these laws by lazy judges who for the most part do not conduct hearings in an impartial way. Often a defendant is only given a few minutes to speak. Personally, I can say that most of my hearings last for hours as I enforce the letter of the law and the procedures. It isn't a popular move, but I am representing clients by ensuring the processes and procedures are upheld. I can say with confidence that if a lawyer were to handle all his clients with this approach, the chances are much higher that a man can get some if not all of his rights as a father.

What services do you offer to help families and children?

At the heart of my work is the children, who are the biggest victims in divorce or welfare issues. I deal with custody, child support, divorce, saving children in juvenile cases, institutions. All the issues I deal with have one common theme, the civil and human rights of men, women and children. I can give you a list of each area I have helped clients, but it is important to know that for most of the time, all the issues overlap into one big crisis. My job is to separate things and win for the client on each single issue. This is the difference. Most clients just don't understand why a proverbial rocket can land on them, and that it can take some time to unscramble the whole story into reorganising their lives and letting them move on with dignity and self respect again.


Why should someone hire you?

If you want a lawyer who can fight your war, then it's fine. There are plenty. If you want a lawyer who will find a solution through real process, I can help. I see hundreds of people in trauma, who find it difficult to unravel the problem from the emotional content. Israel has the highest rate of lawyers per head in the world. I take cases I can win. Every client matters and my method of working is to take a client and work with them night or day to reach a solution. We set the goals together, and from there, I need my clients to give me trust so I can do the job. My criminal training has given me the benefit of working with details and evidence, not opinions. This is why I am confident. Sometimes, it is only the client who loses his cases, not the lawyer or the courts. I work on training and educating my clients how to deal with social workers and courts. 80% of cases are brought to me due to the behaviour of the client who has contributed to their own demise. We have to work hard to rebuild behaviours. When a judge is forced to actually judge, then things become much easier.

Having visited the UN in March in Geneva, Attorney Givati released information regarding judicial corruption, accompanied by a report from Coalition for Families and Children, the only independent civil society in Israel which advocates for those whose rights are violated by corruption. Registered in Geneva, Ccf have continued to campaign for children and families since their first visit in 2011. 

You recently visited the UN to the Committee for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Geneva. With the animosity many people feel for the UN, or the bias they perceive, why would you consider going there?

''Firstly, I have to clarify that I hold no political agendas. The UN Assembly give out sanctions or condemn countries on their international behaviour, State against State. But a lot of work goes on in other Sub Committees to enact and encourage the human rights treaties. I visited in March 2019 for a number of reasons. Firstly, it was an opportunity presented to me through a civil society – individuals cannot just show up.

 Secondly, I believe in human rights, and had learned there wasn't an NGO or civil society apart from Ccf in Israel which were trying to protect the human rights and write about the violations; and thirdly, most importantly, people in Israel have no one to tell. Newspapers and TV put gag orders on news of domestic violations; or people are punished by extreme bias in courts, or even arrests. Given there is no one to tell, 

I understand the mechanisms of the Committees and how the State Parties as members can be sanctioned even at domestic level. Many lobbies do go to the committees and give a one sided argument, especially in family matters, so I felt it important to speak out about the judicial corruption affecting so many people. I see it every single day in my work. Israel is not isolated from the world, and as the majority of countries signed up to treaties which promise human rights, then it is my responsibility to speak out when I got the opportunity. Especially in regard to the Rights of the Child to speak out when their family life has been broken. We need a fairer judicial and welfare system, and only by being in the international community, which Israel signed to work with, can we hope to fight for better rights.''

  

What work do you provide internationally?

''I have a New York Licence, and help people from all over the world who have any legal issues outstanding with Israel.  Regarding juvenile or children's rights, I also can advise clients worldwide on the approaches needed to turn their cases around.  Every child matters, every parent matters, and courts worldwide don't appear to have the best interest of the family at heart.  We have only a chance to keep fighting for each person until things change.


For advice on: divorce, custody, juvenile, welfare, bankruptcy, immigration,  child support,  Attorney Givati can be contacted on: [email protected]




#Israel welfare system, #No Exit Orders in Israel, #Meir Mickey Givati, #Fathers rights in Israel, #Child support in Israel, #UNCRC Israel, #Childrens Rights in Israel, #Judicial corruption in Israel, #Juvenile law in Israel

0
0
0