IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
R. DAVID WEISSKOPF, pro se )
Plaintiff ) )
VS. ) 4:12-CV-00130
UNITED JEWISH APPEAL - FEDERATION OF )
JEWISH PHILANTHROPIES OF NEW YORK, INC., )
EL PASO E&P COMPANY L.P., KINDER )
MORGAN, INC. )
i have been asked to testify; based on my knowledge, training, education and experience regarding the family laws in Israel in contrast with international laws; including french family law,european law and human rights.
International law recognizes the fact that the family plays an essentia and central role in human society. The family is perceived to be the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State..; This introduction lies at the foundation of the broad protection granted to the family by international law. The right to family life, which has been recognized as a fundamental right in international law, is enunciated in all major international instruments and conventions and has also been the subject of a
comprehensive discourse in various contexts of Israeli law. See for exemple International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, opened for signature Dec. 16,1966, art. 23(1), 999 U.N.T.S. 171, 179 [hereinafter Covenant on Civil Rights] (reiterating
that which is stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights); see also InternationalCovenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, opened for signature Dec. 16, 1966, art.10(1), 993 U.N.T.S. 3, 7 [hereinafter Covenant on Social Rights] (providing that the States
Parties to the present Covenant recognize that . . . the widest possible protection and assistance
should be accorded to the family, which is the natural and fundamental group unit of
society. For similar sentiments, see the Declaration on Social Progress and Development,G.A. Res. 2542, U.N. GAOR, 24th Sess., Supp. No. 30, at 49, U.N. Doc. A/7630 (1969) (statingthat the family is .a basic unit of society and the natural environment for the growth
and well-being of all its members, particularly children and youth., and the European Social
Charter, Oct. 18, 1961, art. 16, 529 U.N.T.S. 89 [hereinafter European Charter]. Similar provisions
may be found in various regional conventions, such as: American Declaration of the
Rights and Duties of Man, May 2, 1948, O.A.S. Res. XXX, adopted by the Ninth International
Conference of American States (1948), reprinted in Basic Documents Pertaining to Human
Rights in the Inter-American System, OEA/Ser.L.V/II.82 doc.6 rev.1 at 17 (1992) (Article VI:
.;Every person has the right to establish a family, the basic element of society, and to receive
protection thereof.; American Convention on Human Rights, Nov. 22, 1969, art. 17(1),
I.L.M. 673, 680 ;The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled
to protection by society and the state..Banjul Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights,
June 27, 1981, art. 18(1), 21 I.L.M. 58, 61 (“The family shall be the natural unit and basis of
society. It shall be protected by the State which shall take care of its physical and moral
health.”) .and art 8 of the european convention for human rights which consacrate the fundamental right to live a private and family life as well as the large jurisprudence of european court of human right in Srasbourg (France).
see alsoArticle 1Covenant on Civil Rights, arts. 17, 23, 999 U.N.T.S. at 177, 179. The
Covenant was ratified by Israel in 1991.
1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference
with his privacy, family, home or correspondence,
nor to unlawful attacks on his honor and reputation.
2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law
against such interference or attacks.
The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of
society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
2. The right of men and women of marriageable age to
marry and to found a family shall be recognized.
3. No marriage shall be entered into without the free and
full consent of the intending spouses.
4. States Parties to the present Covenant shall take appropriate
steps to ensure equality of rights and responsibilities
of spouses as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
In the case of dissolution, provision shall be made for
the necessary protection of any children
I will rely upon documents and information in this case, as well as records and information from the Israeli legislature, Israeli laws, French laws, the United Nations and the Inter-American Convention. as well as the european convention for human right I will try to show the Defendants acted together with government entities or officials under authority and/or color of Israeli laws and had sufficient control over the violations against the current Plaintiff, new Plaintiffs and other men similarly situated as claimed in the original and/or amended complaint.
I am both an israeli and a french lawyer since 1988 as well as a doctor in law from the university of PARIS
MY FIELD of practice IS FAMILY LAW in connection with human rights, european and french law.
my thesis has been written precisely about this subject; which mean the conformity of israeli family law with basic human right, as article 8 of the europeanconvention for human rights.
As a matter of fact: it is in ,my opinion nearly impossible to understand israeli family law without taking into account several practical eelments which are not only necessaraly in the field of law but also political; sociological and historical field.
II the law per se
Article 51 of an old english law_ .Article 51 of the Palestine Order in Council (1922), _ passed during the british mandate over Palestine. still in force in Israel give exclusive competency upon mariage and divorce solely to religious court according to the religious faith of the couple.Since 80% of the israeli population is of jewish religion, that's mean practically that rabbinical court have exclusive competency upon the majority of the population for mariage and divorce. Having saן that several practice have limited this exclusive right as we will see it.In 1953 the Knesset enacted the Rabbinical Courts Jurisdiction (Marriage and Divorce) Law, 5713 - 1953 (hereinafter - "the Jurisdiction Law"). The substantive provision of section 2 provides: "Marriages and divorces of Jews shall be performed in Israel in accordance with Jewish religious law" (din torah). The term "Jewish religious law" includes biblical law, rabbinic law, and regulations according to the halakhah which is a jewish code of conduct. Section 1 of the aforementioned law establishes the jurisdiction of the Rabbinical Courts: "Matters of marriage and divorce of Jews in Israel, being citizens or residents of the State, shall be under the exclusive jurisdiction of the rabbinical courts."But as we have alrready said, jealous of her prerogative, family court and before it district court found numerous wayto make their on interpretation of law to such an extent that in fact the israeli law has nothing of religious as we are going to see it now:
A.First of all, about definition ofl:
what is a mariage and a divorce in jewish law?
According to jewish law, it is reasonable to affirm that mariage is a contract made between a man and a woman according to which man take upon himself to pay certain amount of money to his wife and future children, during and after the mariage, either on the account of alimony and or on the account of damages according to the "sexual"status of the spouse (if virgin or not); This contract is called a kETOUBAH; The DIVORCE, is simply the breaking of this contract, according to a private ceremony during which this KETOUBAH or contract is physically broken, rippen off, with the supervision of rabbinical court or even simple rabbis, since such a private ceremony is tolrated and can also be seen like a divorce, even xithout the intervention of any tribunal, that is the Get.This get is freely given by the husband to his wife, but it will be a caricature of law to affirm that this ceremony is discrimatory toward the woman, only because sole the man can deliver the libel of divorce. effectively,if the woman does not accept to receive under her hands, the get, then there is no divorce. the jewish divorce is then not a repudiation but rather a mutual agreement to break the link of mariage.
Nevertheless, it is this caricature of jewish law which prevail in Israel to justify denaturing completely the jewish and israeli law in order to provide to family court the privilege to cross over the authority of religious jurisdiction upon mariage and divorce in formal contradiction with the law...
Here we must take a stop in order to catch and understand what really happenned in relation with the extreme cruelty and total unfairness of family law in Israel, and especially against jewish father and husband systimatically, one can say:
III.The creation of the state of Israel: Historical and sociological background:
The state of Israel is born out of an eastern european, jewish, non religious and socialistic thought.
As a matter of fact, it will not be false to declare that religious jews in Europe opposated the zionist mouvement; to such extent that this organisation thought at a certain point before the first world war to create the jewish state in... Ouganda, far away from its jewish origin and cultural background and without any link with it. Although this idea has been abandonned afterwarth, it is nevertheless clear that a certain tension existed between a religious idea of Israel and a secular, political and rational one. As far as family law is concerned It is rather the middle way which has been choisen, at the expense of the father and husband as we gonna explain it now:
IV. the caricature and his consequences
Since Israel inherited old britsh and ottoman law concerning application of the religious jurisdiction and personal status upon family law in Israel, the ashkenazic eastern european jewish elite, especially in the judiciary field had to find more or less legal way to fight the religious monopole UPON FAMILY LAW by creating new concept who never existed in Palestine before,neither under ottoman or british ruling. that why and how also family court have been created in 1995 and religious court dessaised from real juridictionnal power? THANKS to curious conception and total denaturation of jewish religious law as followed:
B.What is not mariage and divorce:
the notion of race to competency or forum shopping became as time pass a judicial notion very "serious" and also very harmfull in Israel but totally strange in a judicial system which should respect the principle of security in law as well as the right of men.What is it?
Since mariage, as well as divorce, in jewish law can be seen as a unilateral contract from the man to the woman, non religious court, previous district court, today "family" court (since 1995), have created concept and a wide scape system to contradic totally the jewish law and break the free will of the husband in order to force him to deliver, often in extreme violent ways, the libel of divorce and break up his family, or not, often against his owm will and without analyzing the cause of divorce, making relation of jewish marriage, a total joke.those procedure are equivalent to real torture and extreme violence against men in Israel. In my point of view the plaintiffs ARE ABSOLUTLYright to define this situation as crime against humanity as I will explain it later.
C. How did they do that and what are we talking about exactly?
FIRST OF ALL I WISH TO WARN THAT THIS SYSTEM OF THINKING IS EXTREMELY CRUEL AND HYPOCRITE AS WELL AS COMPLICATED TO UNDERSTAND TOO? BUT JUSTIFY HIMSELF IN ORDER TO ASSURE THE CONTROL OF A MINORITY UPON THE MAJORITY; i WILL DO MY BEST TO EXPLAIN IT LATER
1.the race about competency
art 3 of The Rabbinical Courts Jurisdiction (Marriage and Divorce) Law of 1953 stipulate that:
"Where a suit for divorce between. Jews has been filed in a rabbinical court, whether by the wife or by the husband, a rabbinical court shall have exclusive jurisdiction in any matter connected with such suit". maintenance for the wife and for the children of the couple.tAccording to this rule, Rabbinical Courts have Juridiction in matters wrongly called " incidental" to divorce, as maintenance, alimony or question of custody or gardienship upon children.In order to empty any substancial authority to rabbinical court, leting them only to supervise the ceremony of divorce like real magician without any judicial and real power, civil and family court have created very wird notion that it will be so fastidious to grap and understand that we can only give an overview about them, without entering too much into detail, out of fear to bother this honorable court:since rabbinical court are wrongly suppose to be in favour of men against women, wich is completly untrue and even the contrary of it, old district court invented a vicious notion destinated to limit ingerency of rabbinical court inn Israel upon jewish family life. this notion is called good or bad faith of the israeli man only when they themself ask for divorce, infront of rabbinical court.
1. the principle of good and bad faith:
Curiously, the mere fact that man directed his divorce claim toward rabbinical court is considered as a trick or a fraud which only mean is to link incidental matter to the divorce claim in order to avoid family court ruling on those issues,family court, supposed to be harsher toward men; In this way civil court may declare, on the woman demand, that the man law suit to divorce has been filed in bad faith, solely to court circuit civil jurisdiction upon matter incidental to divorce, taking no count whatsoever of rabbinical court ruling or competency. Isn't it strange for a court wish has no juridisction upon mariage and divorce to court circuit another jurisdiction of same degree ( family court is a part of peace court) wich is solely in charge of such a matter?And not less than that, the fact that the rabbinical court has no way to assure than his exclusive competency is not shadowed by civil or family court. In this way, parties in distress, must find their way, during long years to finally know exactly who is in charge of their file. they race, one another, to buy the competency about the conditions of their divorce. That's why, it is considered as a professionnal fault for a lawyer in Israel, not to advice, his or her client, not to run the first one, toward the rabbinical or family court, according to the status of man or woman, even before any serious problem arise, since art 25 of the family law forbid, theoricly only, (no sanction whatsoever is attached to rhis interdiction), to this family court law to deal with the matter, if rabbinical court law has been sollicited before, especially upon matter incidental to divorce.
On the other way it is very seldom, if not impossible, than a jewish women in chearch of a divorce will deposit her law suit in a rabbinical court, but instead a family court that will try or do his best to force the husband to grant the libel of divorce often against his own wishe and often without been ask to do so, since there is no constitutive way for a civil court to do so according to israeli law.
In which manner do they do that:
In jewish law or any other system of family law, it is nearly impossible to reach a mutual consent to divorce without agreement about those matter called incidental to divorce. But in Israel that's not the case since family court may issue order to fix the amount of mantenance or alimony without any linkage with divorce itself; that is also right with custody. In this way men in Israel are force to give a consent to divorce, even tho they don't agree to such consent and without real legal debate about itt:I will give several practical exemple about it;
C; Practical exemples: a jewish woman want to get a libel of divorce from her jewish husband. She has no regal ground for it , She goes to consult a lawyer, Here is the conversation between them: W is the woman; L is the lawyer
L why do you want to divorce
W. I met another man younger and more handsome; I don't love anymore my husband
l. How many children do you have
W. Three, why?
L. Very good. We have to run to family court to file a law suit against your husband for alimony to you and your three children. As soon as we do that, the judge is going to grant us a temporory order fixing the amount of alimony and maintenance for your husband to pay without any posibility to defend himself, at this stage.
CONCLUSION:Family law as a tool to control the majority of citizen in ISRAEL and prevent any form of civil and citizen revendication
In order to understand how the British approached the challenge of governing an ethnically and religiously diverse Palestine, it is useful to consider the strategies for efficient colonial administration they had developed in other jurisdictions. The British mapped the lessons learned elsewhere on to the interpretation and elaboration of the Ottoman plural regime they found in Mandate Palestine. Unlike the conquest of North America, where small indigenous populations spread over a wide territory were neutralized by treaty and subdued by force, the question faced by British colonists during the scramble for Africa in the mid 19th century was how a small group of colonists could govern a colonized population that vastly outnumbered them.13 They addressed this challenge with the development of a policy of indirect rule' whereby local government should, wherever possible, be carried out through the co-optation ofindigenous political institutions. With regard to African law, British law altered aspects of customary culture which were viewed as repugnant to British morality, but the bulk of customary law, dealing with petty crimes and the civil law matters of family, inheritance and land tenure were to be left intact to evolve naturally along with the world view of its adherents.
Indirect rule had three key features: the distribution of jurisdiction between colonial and indigenous law along subject matter lines, negotiation about this distribution between colonial authorities and patriarchal elites in the indigenous community, and the subjection of indigenous norms to extinguishment if they were deemed repugnant to British moral norms.As we will see it now, It is this very same idea of colonialistic type of control which dictate nowadays the development of family law in Israel for the benefit of a minority in Israel, as we going to see it now.
Ashkenazic jews versus sefaradic jews
The existing Ottoman imperial legal system already divided power between the imperial authority and indigenous groups along subject matter lines, placing family law under the jurisdiction of minority religious communities. As in indirect rule, the Ottoman state coped with the challenge of governing a diverse population through retaining direct control over matters of national importance such as security and taxation, and by granting jurisdiction over other legal issues to religious millets (self-organizing religious communities). Initially, this dispensation extended only to Christians and, to a lesser extent, to Jews, as fellow people of the book', but this tolerance was eventually extended to other groups as well. The extent of the powers delegated also did not remain;AS A MATTER OF FACT, it is exactly the same idea which dictate the behaviour of judicial elite in Israel,that is to say family law is not serious enough, less fondamental, than other field of law, nearly"more primitive" than constitutionnal law, so that this matter does not need a deep and fondamental way of thinking and can even be seen as a way of domination of the ashkenazic jews upon the sefaradic jews_ which could mean, in their point of view_ ike a war between "enlightened people against barbarbaric one. The old world against the new one. the "modern family against the patriarcal one. In this war every means are authorized, and especially the death of the father within the jewish family at any price.
As a matter of fact, the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has already called on the Israel government to amend its laws in order to ease the burden on fathers seeking full or partial custody of their children.
At a special hearing in Geneva last month, the committee expressed concern that fathers embroiled in custody disputes in Israel are not always treated fairly under the Israel Capacity and Guardianship Law.
In its summation of hearing about the economic, social and cultural situation in member countries, the UN committee called directly on the Israel government to make sure that custody of children up to the age of six is not always givenautomaticly to mothers and asked the government to find a way to .ensure that child support awards do not lead to an inadequate standard of living for the father.
The UN committee was responding to a report submitted by the Israel Coalition for Children and Family, a non-profit organization that unites several bodies engaged in fighting for father's rights. The report outlines numerous hardships faced by fathers in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Ra'anana, Haifa, Kfar Sava, Hadera, Beer Sheva and throughout the Jewish state going through what the NGO describes as a gender-biased court and social welfare system.
Alongside complaints of social and economic difficulties faced by the men and accusations that in general more attention is paid to women's rights, the CCF also outlined legislation it calls .;blatantly discriminatory against men;
In that complaint, the fathers claimed that Israel's family laws and practices violate international conventions, deny men involved in divorce cases their basic human rights and accused state-run authorities and courts of purposely disengaging fathers from their children.
.there is very little chance that this system of law will ever change since it is attached to personal privilege and political aspects whensionist and religious parties prefer the status quo to alternative states, all other things equal.In Israel, the term status quo (or the secular-religious status quo) refers to the political understanding between religious and secular political parties not to alter the communal arrangement in relation to religious matters, in a predominantly secular population. The established Jewish religious communities in Israel desire to maintain and promote the religious character of the state, while the secular community wishes to reduce the impact of religious regulations in their everyday lives. Occasionally, one political side seeks to make changes to inter-communal arrangements, but these are often met by fierce political opposition from the other side. The status quo preserves the established religious relations in Israel, and only small and artificial changes are usually made. let's talk about it:
THE INITIAL STATUS QUO COMPROMISE
The status quo compromise that has shaped the relationship
between law and religion in Israel dates back to political understandings
and negotiations between Jewish leaders even before the establishment
of the state, and to this date it is mainly shaped by the tensions within
the Jewish majority in Israel.1 More specifically, the negotiations
regarding the legal status of religion had started as soon as the
international processes, which eventually culminated in the creation of
the state, had matured. The most representative document in this
context is the letter that the Jewish Agency--the main Zionist
institution at the time (which was controlled by the secular Labor
Party)--sent in 1947 to the international organization of Agudat Israel,
the hegemonic movement within the ultra-Orthodox Jewish public.
This letter, also known as the “status quo document,” included
commitments to observe certain traditions in the future state, and IT
centered on issues considered important from a religious perspective. It
mentioned the recognition of the Jewish Sabbath (Saturday) as the
official day of rest; the provision of kosher food in public institutions;
the exclusivity of the religious law of marriage and divorce;2 and a
commitment to ensure the autonomy of the ultra-Orthodox educational