MK Merav Michaeli
MK Merav Michaeli Flash 90

MK Merav Michaeli (Zionist Union) responded on Wednesday evening to the storm that erupted over her statements against the nuclear family on an Australian TV program.

Michaeli said that her words were “systematically edited” and “taken out of context.”

“When I saw who did the editing and who is waging the campaign, the surprise disappeared: Another attempt by forces on the extreme religious right to present me as a dangerous monster,” she explained.

“Everything I am accused of, such as parental licenses, an overseeing committee, taking kids out of the home and child-raising by the state are things that I never said or even thought,” she asserted. “They are hallucinations, lies created from systematic editing and meant to frighten you of me, but they are not connected to me.”

“So let’s get things straight: Yes, I believe that parenting is not limited to heterosexual couples married in religious marriages,” she emphasized. “I believe we need to broaden parental possibilities. To allow those who want to be parents to bring children to the world not within the context of marriage or couplehood but also through all sorts of connections. Anyone who raised or is raising a child knows that it takes a whole village for this great and complicated task, as much as it also brings happiness. The important thing is that those choosing to raise their children take responsibility: not just not to harm them, not disappear from them in the middle of life and not abandon them economically, but also are concerned with their welfare and rights as human beings in and of themselves. These are the ‘criteria’ to which I referred in words that I said on Australian television.”

Apparently, Michaeli tried to backtrack on her prior statements whereby “the core family as we know it is one of the least safe place for children.”

“A family can be a wonderful place,” she wrote. “Warm, close and loving. But difficult things also happen in the family. To our great misfortune, there are nuclear families in which children are very exposed to all sorts of harm.”

She repeated the claim that, “According to data in the West, every fifth child undergoes physical, sexual or mental abuse,” but neglected to mention that most child abuse is perpetrated by the mother, not the father. “Again, the extreme religious right has tried to paint in a negative light those of us working for equality and openness. But this timed campaign, too, will not prevent me from continuing to act on behalf of women and children, fathers and men, and the gay community,” she said.

Readers are encouraged to view two segments showing Michaeli speaking: As we edited them and uploaded them to Facebook - and the full program. If, in your opinion, a “hallucination” or systematic editing by “the religious right” is involved - please say so.

The writer is father of two and Chairman of The Familists.