Israeli children (illustrative)
Israeli children (illustrative)Flash90

A bill recently proposed by the justice ministry indicates that it is seeking to take away parents' custodianship of children in Israel. Tzipi Livni's removal from office and the dissolution of the Knesset have temporarily halted the move, which reflects a neo-Marxist approach to the family, in which the state takes over from parents as the ultimate guardian and custodian of children. 

The government-sponsored bill, named “Parents and Their Children,” cancels the concept of natural parental guardianship over children. Its explanatory notes say that it aims “to assimilate a new normative perception... in the matters between parents and their minor children.”

It replaces the terms “custody” and “guardianship” with “parental responsibility,” leaving parents responsible for their children but stripping them of the authority that goes along with that responsibility.

Rabbi Haim Navon, a well-known educator and community rabbi in the city of Modiin, sounded the alarm against the bill on his Facebook page and noted that section 9B of the bill states that “if there are disagreements between the parent and his female or male child regarding the realization of parental responsibility, the parent will strive to the extent possible to reach understanding by peaceful means with the female or male child, either directly or through a third person, including a professional therapist or mediator.”

"Do you understand? I the child doesn't want to go to the dentist, I have to ask him to attend mediation with me,” explained the rabbi.

"This is not just madness,” wrote Rabbi Navon. “This is the accepted approach in the West to the subject of family. The family is not seen as an organic unit but as a collection of individuals who have a loose bond of interests. This is the approach that destroyed the western family.

"Don't let this madness pass quietly,” he appealed. “Share the information and ask our MKs to act. This terrible bill must be changed.”

Neo-Marxism passes under the radar

Parents' rights activists claim that Israel has the world's highest rate of removal of children from their homes. Distancing orders against parents, usually fathers, are issued by courts and police without the need for evidence of wrongdoing, and the practice of forcing children to meet their parents in supervised "contact centers" is said to be ten times as common as it is in the US and average OECD states.

In the early decades of their existence, Israel's socialist "kibbutz" communities raised children in "children's homes" instead of in their parents' homes. This practice was ended after generations of parents and children who suffered through it rebelled against it.

However, neo-Marxist practices have been introduced on the state level, since the early 1990s, by radical groups created by leftist funds, and supposedly representing the rights and interests of Israel's women. These groups operate in the Knesset through the Committee for Advancement of Women's Status, established by then-MK Naomi Chazan of Meretz in 1992, and the Committee for Children's Rights, established in 1995 by then-MK Tamar Gozhanski of communist Hadash. Both committees were created during the term of the Rabin government that also made the Oslo deals.

The groups, which enjoy the backing of academicians from "women's studies" departments, operate in methods that are largely invisible to the Israeli public and receive wall-to-wall cooperation from MKs who fear the wrath of the leftist-controlled "women's movement" and the journalists who identify with it.

Opponents of this creeping neo-Marxism are branded as "male chauvinists" and even the most courageous MKs are afraid to go near the issue. MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud) established a pro-family lobby in 2013 but decided to discontinue its activity when he realized it would turn him into a political pariah, much more so than supposedly extremely controversial views like his support for Jewish Temple Mount prayer.