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October 13, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

If you think fathers in the U.S. have it tough, you’re right, but nowhere near as tough as do Israeli dads.

I’ve written a fair amount about the horror show that is the family court system in Israel. They make no pretense of fairness or doing what’s best for kids. In Israel, children of divorce get essentially no relationship with their fathers until they’re seven. The meager visitation periods are carried out at supervised locations only. If a father needs to travel abroad, even for a brief period, he has to post a bond in the amount of 100% of the child support he’s required to pay for all the years he’s required to pay it. Feminist organizations oppose every effort to improve children’s relationships with their fathers, even minor ones. As far as I can tell, that opposition is invariably successful.

Now we know why (Israel National News, 10/11/17).

The Knesset's Special Committee for the Rights of the Child will hold a meeting on alienating chil dren from their parents - but will only invite women's organizations to take part.

Yes, the Knesset has decided to gather information about parental alienation, but will get it only from women’s groups. No fathers or fathers’ groups were invited. Say, I wonder how balanced those hearings will be.

Here in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and the like, feminist groups have routinely claimed that parental alienation doesn’t exist, that the very concept is nothing more than a sneaky move by fathers’ organizations to shanghai children from “protective” mothers who, naturally, are entitled to have the kids, no questions asked.

But here, the feminist take on parental alienation is all but ignored. Far too much science on the phenomenon exists for anyone to take the feminist narrative seriously. That’s why they’re moving to attacking efforts like Family Bridges to ameliorate the ill effects of PA. When dozens of researchers worldwide produce hundreds of papers on PA and when the American Psychological Association includes the concept by other names in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual - V, it’s a bit hard even for the intellectually dishonest to maintain the idea that parental alienation is anything except what it is – child abuse.

I suspect that’s why the Israeli feminists running the meeting on parental alienation decided to exclude fathers’ groups. After all, if you’re trying to claim that PA is just a Trojan horse for fathers trying to steal children from mothers, it’s better if you don’t allow those fathers to speak. If you’re trying to convince members of the Knesset that there’s no scientific basis for PA, it’s better to exclude those who know the contrary and can prove it.

Anti-father bigotry doesn’t get much clearer than what the gender feminists are doing on this issue in Israel and the linked-to article is admirably blunt about the fact.

Most alienated parents are fathers, since mothers automatically receive custody of all children under age six. If even one child is under six years of age, the mother will receive automatic custody of all the siblings in case of divorce.

The latter is a fact I’d not previously known. The Tender Years Doctrine doesn’t only mean that kids under seven automatically live with Mom, but that all their siblings do too, irrespective of age. So the TYD in fact intrudes on all father-child relationships, not just those of kids under seven.

Meanwhile, until the divorce agreements are final, the non-custodial parent meets their children for one hour once a week at a supervised "contact center" only. Finalizing the divorce agreements can sometimes take years, during which time the children are unable to have a healthy relationship with their non-custodial parent (usually the father).

Yes, Israeli courts encourage mothers to drag out the divorce process. Since they have the children until the final order is signed (and in the case of kids under seven, afterward as well), mothers can easily degrade the father-child relationship during the divorce process. During that time, parental alienation is easy to achieve should Mom so desire. Plus,

In addition, mothers are told by their lawyers to lie and claim that their partners hit them or harmed the children.

And, speaking of lying, the committee chairwoman overseeing the meeting on PA, apparently uncomfortable that the public now knows that fathers’ groups have been excluded, did just that.

When questioned on the logic of inviting only women's organizations to the meeting, Committee Chairwoman MK Yifat Shasha-Biton (Kulanu) said that "the committee management invited all relevant government offices and other organizations. Anyone who wants to come, can come."

I hope fathers’ groups take her up on that offer. But then Shasha-Biton hilariously made her anti-father bigotry plain.

When asked why she did not invite organizations which deal with fathers' rights, Shasha-Biton said that she only invited recognized organizations. When informed that the fathers' organizations were recognized by the government, she said that she "does not invite those who she does not know."

Yes, it seems pretty much any excuse will do when it comes to sidelining fathers in the lives of their children and privileging mothers at every turn.

 

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National Parents Organization is a non-profit that educates the public, families, educators, and legislators about the importance of shared parenting and how it can reduce conflict in children, parents, and extended families. Along with Shared Parenting we advocate for fair Child Support and Alimony Legislation. Want to get involved?  Here’s how:

Together, we can drive home the family, child development, social and national benefits of shared parenting, and fair child support and alimony. Thank you for your activism.

#parentalalienation, #TenderYears

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