FATHERS COALITION ISRAEL
Association Peace and Justice for Sephardic Jews in Israel
89- 91 Rue Faubourg Saint Honore, 75008 PARIS, FRANCE, Fax +44-843-265-3586
December 23, 2012
The Hon. Ms. Vicki Turetsky, Commissioner
Office of Child Support Enforcement
370 L’ Enfant Promenade, SW,
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Re: SUSPENSION OF RECIPROCATION OF
CHILD SUPPORT WITH ISRAEL
Dear Ms. Turetsky:
Please be advised that any child support originating from the family courts of Israel are inherently offensive of Sue Process and Equal Protection, and therefore cannot be enforced in the United States.
First, child support laws even at family courts are religious based. Israel applies different level of child support top Jewish men, Muslim men and Christian men. Since the civil family courts apply religious law, and the results are different solely based on the religion of the father, and a father cannot opt out of a religion, reciprocating to Israel is in essence an adoption of discrimination based purely on religion. Moreover, it offends the right of a person to be free from religion.
Second, only men pay child support in Israel. Women are exempt. Even a very poor father will still pay child support to a very rich mother. The American government should not embrace discrimination between parents solely on the basis of gender.
Third, even in the odd case that fathers are awarded custody, and they raise their own children, they must continue to pay child support top the non-custodian woman. By reciprocating to Israel, the US Government is adopting outrageous practices that are against the US public policy, that the custodian should be the payee, not the payor. In the case of Ariel Fefer v. Michal Fefer, the custodian father living in NJ was told by Israel’s Central Authority flat out that if he pursues child support against his wife in Israel, he may end up paying her “child support”.
Fourth, the awards of child support in Israel are not income based. In fact, Israeli judges are completely blind to the income of the father. They impose child supports regardless of the ability to earn. Child support can even exceed the actual income. The minimum is $400 per child per month, plus half of additional extras. Thus a father of 3 children, who earns $1,000 mat still have to pay a minimum of $1,200, even if he doesn’t have it.
Fifth, Israeli child support awarded also include a component unrecognized anywhere in the Western world, a duty to pay the wife a share of her rent, and the expenses and maintenance of the rent (30% for 1 child, 40% for 2 children, and 50% for 3 children or more). This is in addition to the minimum $400 per child per month. Notice that the cost of living in Israel is higher than the United States, and the average salary is about half of that in the United States. This yields child awards that are impossible to pay. In fact, almost 80% to 90% of child support cases end up in collection where attorney fees are added, ($1,000 to $3,000), and a 1% service charge is deducted. The rental obligations do not qualify as child support in the US and should not be reciprocated.
Sixth, Israeli family courts do not allow testimony by videotape and do not recognize “witness immunity”. Therefore fathers living outside Israel cannot attend the child support trial, because they will be arrested, and immediately upon entry into Israel, they will be slapped with a ne exeat order. Thus, Israeli family courts routinely strike the Answering papers of the non-custodian fathers, who will not risk being arrested, and grant child support without inquest, solely at the request of the mothers. Thus, most cases that Israel seeks to reciprocated are products of default h judgments. For example: Magid v. Magid where the Court had stricken the NJ father’s answer for non appearance for trial. Note that in one case, Nachom v. Nachom, a father came from California to atrtend a child abduction trial and was enjoined from leaving on a $500,000 bond. He was stuck in Israel 3 years. In Ben Haim v. Ben Haim, the father came to Israel from New Jersey and was detained on a $30,000 bond for 4 months. In Cohen v. Cohen, the father came to Israel from Spain for a Hague hearing, and was arrested. The later child support answer was stricken, and request to testify by videoconference denied. In Hupert v, Hupert, the father came from Sydney and was arrested. All these arrests are either based ion false DV charges, or anticipatory refusal to consent to a divorce.
Given the circumstances, all reciprocation with Israel should be suspended until Israel conforms to international human rights which include income based child support self support reserve, non discrimination based on religion, right to freedom from religion, non discrimination based on gender, and ability to testify by videoconference or “witness immunity” protection for those traveling to testify.
Surely your counterpart in Israel, Yael Simchi will confirm, that everything described above is true and accurate.
Should you make a decision to reject this application, please tell us where to appeal your decision.
Sharon Ben Haim
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