coffin for divorced fathers
coffin for divorced fathersצילום: ארגון אבאמא

Hundreds of men and women are expected to demonstrate Tuesday morning for the rights of divorced fathers, at the entrance to the Supreme Court in Jerusalem.

While the demonstration is going on, the High Court will be discussing the petition of three divorced fathers. In all three cases, the children divide their days evenly between their mothers' and their fathers' homes and the mothers earn salaries similar or identical to the fathers.

The fathers are asking to be allowed to spend their money directly on their children during the time that they are with them. In the current legal situation, they are forced to transfer thousands of shekels per month to their ex-wives, and are thus unable to give their children the proper conditions when they are with them.

The demonstration will include a performance which will be a symbolic burial of a divorced father, an Israeli flag at half-mast, and a collective recital of Kaddish. Police have approved the planned demonstration.

“It is our right and our moral duty to raise and educate our children, and not just to pay child support,” said one of the fathers who plans to participate in the demonstration but asked only to be identified as “D,” so that his words aren’t held against him in his divorce proceedings.

“There are dozens of women’s groups. The women are strong and their rights are already enshrined by law. However, despite the fact that some of the women earn more than us, and the kids spend half their time with us, I still pay half my salary to child support,” he said. “There are also many men for whom the court has set child support amounts that are higher than their salaries. Since the court favors the mother, the father often has to rent an apartment that’s too small to properly accommodate the kids and the father often collapses under the snowballing burden of payments.”

The Hidden Agenda

A spokesman for the protesters, Yaron Medan, told Arutz Sheva that the Supreme Court is capable of changing the situation of divorced fathers based on the principles of equality and justice. However, he claimed, there’s a hidden agenda at work in the rulings of the court, which he identified as the agenda of the New Israel Fund and “interests that are entirely foreign to Judaism, Zionism, and even democracy.”

He said he also hoped to see Knesset members who are sympathetic to the struggling fathers, like Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home), Yoav Kish and Oren Hazan (Likud).