Israel a Prison for US “Deadbeat Dad”

Saul is an American Jew, a professional, who is a prisoner in Israel because of feminist child support laws. He tells his story and describes sexual mores in Israel today.

Saul — Nov 11, 2013

I’m an American “oleh hadash” [new immigrant] in Israel now 5 years. My Israeli ex-wife apparently had divorce in mind as soon as we planned to make aliyah, and after two years here she achieved it.  I and my four American-born kids are all literally prisoners in Israel, not allowed to leave even to visit my elderly parents in California.
I just served my first of what will likely be many prison terms (two weeks this first time) for the crime of “mezinot” — inability to pay child support based on four children and the logic under Jewish law that the father is always 100% responsible for the children’s financial well-being and the mother 0%.
I am not allowed to leave the country.  I actually tried recently, using only my American passport, which I needed to have reissued as my Israeli ex stole my passports and the kids’ as well before telling me she wanted a divorce.  I was hoping the border patrol would assume I’m a tourist and that my ex didn’t go to the trouble of blocking both my US and Israeli passports.  No such luck, I was not allowed to cross into Jordan “to go see Petra.”
A week later, I was awakened at 4:30 am by three police officers, hauled before a judge in downtown Tel Aviv, cuffed, and sentenced to 14-days in prison for not being able to pay all of the child support the court awarded to and began paying to my ex earlier this year.  The prison experience itself was very interesting, and I went into it with the frame of mind that I was doing research.  Low security is what I got, within a high security prison, but outside the main block.
Anyways, between reading, writing and playing ping pong and basketball with some new friends, my time went fairly rapidly and the experience was all in all enjoyable.  Yes, it’s humiliating to be paraded through downtown Tel Aviv in ankle cuffs, and I can hardly say it’s a pleasant experience to undergo a day of sitting through the tedious bureaucracy of the Israeli police or courts prior to sentencing, but all things being equal, it was not a big deal.  Lucky for me, my life post divorce has been one in which I am used to living quite modestly such that my experience in prison wasn’t all that bad.  It actually reminded me a bit of my first year of college at UNV, living in the cramped on-campus dorms with the crummy dorm food.


Continues …

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.