A group of divorced men confronted Jewish Home Chairman MK Zevulun Orlev in an election meeting last week.
The men are fathers who had there children torn from them in divorce litigation as a result of accusations leveled by their ex-wives. They claim that Israel's policies regarding such complaints are informed by biased perceptions that paint all men as potential abusers and deny them basic rights, including the presumption of innocence.
Some of the men have not seen their children for months or even years, and others have access for only one hour a week in a supervised visitation center. The proportion of Israeli children of divorce forced to see their fathers in such centers is six times greater than the global average, according to statistics presented in the Knesset.
The fathers accused MK Orlev of cooperating with militant feminist organizations when he headed the Children's Rights Committee, and of unfairly throwing out pro-family and men's rights activists from one of the the committee's discussions. In that session, female MKs vowed not to allow the cancellation of the so-called Tender Years' Clause that gives divorced mothers automatic physical custody of their children.
Orlev also proposed a law that would force fathers to pay child support until their children reach the age of 22, but has said he will not pursue that law in the next Knesset.
Orlev told the fathers that he has proposed that the Tender Years Clause be limited to children 3 years old and younger. The current law refers to children aged up to 6 but is interpreted as referring to children of all ages.
The angry fathers told Orlev that they expect a religious MK to act on behalf of Jewish family values.