Moshe Kahlon, Minister of Welfare announced a series of measures to suppress fathers’ protest against official policies of exclusion of men from children’s lives, and against shared parenting. The Minister of Welfare is protecting the jobs of social workers whose jobs depend on a fresh supply of children and fathers to the claws of the welfare authorities, hateful social workers and the shameful industry of supervised visitation centers and parental fitness evaluators.
One month after a visit by a United Nations freedom of speech rapporteur, Frank La Rue to Israel, the Israeli Minister of welfare has stepped up the escalating war against fathers and divorced men. Kahlon who is in charge of about 1,000 social workers who are appointed in each and every custody and visitation case to determine whether the man will be allowed to see his children, has commenced an official campaign to intimidate the men’s rights NGOs in the country. Among these measures, the minister personally sent special SWAT teams to search homes of activists for weapons, despite having no probable cause whatsoever. Judge Daniela Sharizli signed the search warrants without hesitation. The SWAT teams mutilated everything in sight at the homes, and found no guns.
In private meetings, the Minister said that he has no intentions of starting a dialogue with the men’s rights activists because his allegiance is to the 1,000 social workers, whose livelihood depends on a fresh supply of children and divorcing couples. An entire divorce industry depends on a constant stream of contrived conflicts, including judges, private evaluators, psychiatrists and parenting coordinators, who cannot afford to ease up on the built up tensions of divorce, purely for the sake of their jobs. The social workers handle about 6,000 contested cases per year, with additional an 3,000 cases being mediated by mediators trained with the most up-to-date radical feminist ideology, whose job is to tell the man in mediation, that in Court he will lose much more than in mediation.
In Israel, women enjoy automatic custody of the children pursuant to a statutory presumption. Women are also exempt completely from paying or contributing to child support. Whenever a woman withholds consent to visitations, a social worker is appointed. These social workers are trained at militant feminist institutions and they believe that a biological father’s presence in the children’s lives disrupts the woman’s new journey in life as a single woman. It is against this background that the fathers’ rights organizations, are staging protests all over the country.
After six years of deliberations, a parliamentary commission, the Schnitt commission has recommended to abolish the automatic maternal custody preference (the tender years presumption), and to require courts to conduct an evidentiary hearing before automatically assigning a social worker to investigate the fathers’ parental fitness. “This is exactly what the social workers, and Moshe Kahlon seek to avoid in order to preserve their jobs, which will become futile after the law changes”, says Daniel Arbiv, one of the targeted fathers.
The fathers report that the Minister has used his assistants to call up men and stir up “divide and conquer” tactics among the various groups. In addition to sending the police to raid homes of activists, three activists have been arrested on trumped up charges in the same week when Mr. Kahlon sponsored a radical feminist conference at the notorious male bashing Rackman Center, headed by Ruth Halperin Kaddari, Israel’s biggest opponent of shared parenting.
In order to silence dissent before the Rackman conference on January 3, 2012, social workers have searched the internet to fish out “dissidents”. Many men reported that they were called in for “meetings” with their private social worker, and confronted with “incriminating evidence” that they write in facebook or other blogs in support of joint custody. At such interviews, the fathers are being asked point blank if they are active in men's' rights groups. Whether they admit it or not, their visitations rights with the children are suspended, or they are sent to a supervised visitations in a Contact Center, where they get one hour a week with the children in a prison like setting. These practices were approved by Batya Artman, general counsel for the Ministry of Welfare. Artman is a ferocious feminist who has approved the indoctrination sessions at the Rackman Center. The ministers’ aids leaked information that the conference would be beefed up with security instructed to use violent force to deter demonstrators from civilly protesting.
Israel’s family laws operate under the strictest gag orders seen anywhere in the Western world. Men risk penalties of up to $15,000 for talking about their cases, or describing in public the nightmare that their lives have become. One father who courageously appeared on television with full name and face, Amir Shipperman, has received a warning that he will not see his daughter if he continues. In the past, a family court judge, Rivka Mekayes, has shut down a web site devoted to fathers’ rights. Judges Mira Dahan has assessed $15,000 in penalties against a father who wrote on a blog that he cried because his child was not permitted to sleep overnight. Judge Varda Ben Shahar assessed a similar fine against a father who called his wife anorectic and disturbed. Judge Gila Canfi-Steinitz has banned a literary book from publishing, because the unnamed ex wife complained that the sexual positions described may reveal her identity, and slammed the man with a $60,000 damage award.
In further effort to suppress the fathers’ rights movement in Israel, Moshe Kahlon announced new and secret guidelines to social workers to stop all work, and file a police complaint against any father who is disobedient and does not cooperate with the welfare authorities. “The minister forgets that divorced men are coerced “clients” of welfare. They are not authentic needy cases. The family court Judges simply refuse to hear evidence, so they appoint social workers instead. This is unheard of in any other country. Once joint custody is legislated here, these frustrated and bitter social workers will surely not be missed”, said Guy Shamir, a father, another activist.