Avri Gilad, one of Israel's most popular TV personalities, has decried what he calls a "fad" of false accusations against divorced fathers.
"Every day I get e-mails from fathers whose natural right to see their children is denied them by social workers, courts, the police, and what not," Gilad wrote on his popular Facebook page, which is followed by more than 20,000 people. "They cry out and no one listens – sometimes they are even mocked.
"The feminist revolution, which I support wholeheartedly, is felling victims among my brothers, the divorced fathers. In the name of [fighting] thousands of years of discrimination, in the name of an injustice that was done in the past and is done in the present to millions of women in the world, by rapacious men who shame the male sex, the legal systems believe that it is okay to mow down good people, devoted fathers who divorced because they chose to, or because others chose so for them.
"I regret to say that there is a fad of submitting false accusations to the police regarding violence, the fear of violence, sexual abuse and other kinds of lies against good, loving and devoted fathers, whose only sin is that they did not get along with the woman with whom they thought they would live forever.
"The police report that there is a huge number of strategic false complaints against men, which automatically set in motion a process of distancing the man from his children, transferring his limited meetings with them to contact centers – dingy rooms in the welfare offices – under the watchful eyes of female welfare workers (very busy, underpaid, who get a raw deal themselves) who are usually hostile, and in extreme cases, a complete severing of the connection between the man and his children."
Gilad notes that a governmental committee – the Schnitt Committee – has recommended joint parenthood as the default arrangement for divorce in Israel, but its recommendations are not being implemented.
"Almost no lawmaker is dealing with the matter. In private conversations, they admit that they fear the power of the militant women's organizations. I am not afraid and I say with a clear voice: One evil is not corrected by committing another! Children are not raised by separating them from their fathers…
Fathers who do not give their children the things they deserve must also be dealt with, Gilad added, "but that is a different story, for a different time."
Gilad ends the message with a challenge: "Who is the lawmaker who will pick up this glove? Where is the party that will give hope to thousands of fathers? Who is man enough to tell the women – we will fight with you to the last drop of blood against every discrimination, attack or bias, but we will fight with the same passion to be fathers with equal rights when the relationship ends? Who?"
MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud) recently formed the Knesset Caucus for Strengthening the Family and Community. He said at the first meeting of the caucus that powerful pressure was exerted on other MKs not to attend the meeting.
As is the case with men's movements and pro-family movements in other countries, attempts in Israel to mount a struggle against the evils described by Gilad are hampered by an inability of the activists to organize around clear goals and leadership, and a lack of funding.