This is not another of the myriad of articles out there criticizing Israel for no reason. Israel is a thriving Democracy in a land where some of the darkest despotic regimes flourish. It is under constant assault for its very existence, and when it comes to that there is no reason to do anything but support them. This is an article that countries around the world can take as a warning.
Israel has long been a country with a very strong feminist ideal. They were one of the first Western Democracies to elect a female Prime Minister, women serve in all levels of politics, the legal field and in the Military. It is also a country where criticism of women, or asking for fairness, is an ideal which is considered a threat to feminist ideals and equality. There have been more than one Israeli politician who has commented on the unfairness of the situation towards men, especially divorced men, but openly states that they will not take on the feminist lobby. I wrote this piece for other western countries who put the feminist ideal above individual fairness.
11 Things You Should Know about the Deplorable State of Fathers’ Rights in Israel
- Israel has the second highest child support obligation among all OECD countries – only Switzerland has a higher support obligation –despite the fact that Israel is the second poorest nation in the OECD.
- Israel’s standard child support arrangements are based on flat numbers rather than what a father earns – standard support obligations typically range between $500-$600 per child. An average post-tax salary in Israel is slightly less than $2,000 per month. This amount is then supplemented by standard additional expenses which typically include 30% of the woman’s monthly rent, medical, dental, extracurricular activities, babysitting, and other sundry awards. The net result is that many men are forced to pay child support in an amount that exceeds their income – and that a divorced father with 3 children will almost definitely be living under the poverty line.
- Israeli law has built in mechanisms to deter men from making applications for child support reductions or visitation enlargements, as they are routinely denied without hearing and then charged costs, which can routinely amount to between $600 and $1,200 and are automatically imposed against the father applicant.
- Israel is one of the only countries in the Western World to actively employ the Tender Years Presumption – meaning that mothers have a presumption of custody for children under 6 – which, in practical terms, affects fathers’ rights for the remainder of the child’s minority – as social workers are generally reluctant to alter custody arrangements.
- Israel has debtors prison – men who cannot pay child support are routinely jailed – and, in fact, it is standard practice for the social service authorities to simply ask the estranged ex-spouse whether she wants to have her ex jailed for a failure/inability to pay. Moreover, fathers who owe child support are routinely barred from leaving the country — irrespective of whether they are citizens of other countries who are not legally allowed to work in Israel.
- Israel has a law that criminalizes the disparagement of public officials – public officials include social workers. This means that if a divorced father issues a formal, public complaint against a social worker, he is potentially criminally liable.
- The rate of supervised visitations in Israel is astronomical, at 20-25%, compared with 1-3% in the U.S and the rate of children’s removal and outplacements is also among the highest in the world.
- According to the Israeli Ministry of Health, the suicide rate among divorced fathers is 8 times greater than everyone else (an estimated number of 200 suicides per year).
- Israeli law officially interprets the right to family life as dependent on the concept of “mother’s consent”, a concept that is widely acknowledged as antiquated, at best.
- Under Israeli law, women do not face criminal penalties for submitting false reports — meaning that an aggressive ex-spouse faces virtual impunity for made up sex abuse allegations and similar accusations, even if there is no basis and even if the allegations were used purely to gain leverage. This creates an incentive to lie, which can be extremely dangerous.
- There is an almost complete lack of transparency — only lawyers have subscription-access to the laws and the reported precedents.