The Jerusalem Family Court inaugurated an exhibit this week that deeply hurt many litigants there, raising serious doubts about court system culture and its ability to judge objectively between men and women and see them as equals.
The exhibition displays children's drawings painted when the children were with their mothers in a Jerusalem battered women's shelter, operated by the Woman to Woman association.
The drawings were accompanied by quotes in the children's words, for example: "When Dad got most annoyed, he was silent, and Mother was terrified. I was afraid he'd hit me, but when he hit us, he'd shout. "
"My mother always said not to annoy my father, but he always got upset, and my sister used to irritate him, but he didn't beat her, only her mother, and her nose was bleeding."
"Dad's not here; he should die."
"Dad isn't cute, and I don't like him; he wants to hit me all day. Dad puts flies into the car to bite me, I don't want to play with him."
"Father yells at me and Grandmother, and when you annoy him he gets angry and yells," and more.
Male litigants in the court were insulted and deeply hurt by the exhibition and appealed to the court secretary through their lawyers. Following the request, the children's quotes were removed but the paintings remained.
The President of the Jerusalem District Magistrate's Courts responded through the Courts System Spokesman:
"The exhibition presents works created by children living in Bayit Cham ("Warm Home") and a battered women's shelter.
"During the hanging of the works, it was found that the contents of the accompanying caption were not appropriate to the corridors of the court and were soon removed by the court."
The writer is a father of two and the head of the Family Movement in Israel.
Translated by Mordechai Sones