Published On Tuesday, March 27, 2012 12:46 PM Yourjewishnews.com By Eli Daniel
A federal court in New Jersey today has scheduled its first hearing for April 16th on a lawsuit against Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein’s International Fellowship of Christians & Jews, the New Israel Fund and several Israeli officials.
The lawsuit seeks over $26 million from each Defendant, “for gross violations of human rights and torture arising out of an institutionalized discriminatory policy of disengaging and separating fathers from their minor children”. The three Israeli fathers who filed the lawsuit say Eckstein deceives Evangelical Christians by using their donations to support radical feminists in their anti-father crusade to break up the Israeli family.
“These are well-meaning Christians,” says Guy Shamir, spokesman for the Coalition for the Children
& the Family in Israel (CCFI). “They support family values and would be horrified at how Eckstein misuses their donations.” Shamir estimates 9,000 fathers every year get trapped into sub-human conditions in the Israeli judicial system. Last year the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights called on Israel to amend its laws to ease the burden on fathers seeking custody or visitation rights with their children. “It amazes me that Eckstein continues to sponsor the anti-father crusade even after all this came to light,” states Shamir.
The lead Plaintiff against Eckstein, Sharon Ben-Haim, claims his ex-wife kidnapped his two year-old daughter from the USA to Israel. When he tried to exercise his parental rights under the Hague Convention on international child abduction; he hit a brick wall in the Israeli legal system. “Words cannot express how much I miss my daughter,” says Ben-Haim, “My hea rt is broken.”
The Ben-Haim custody battle was heard in a New Jersey Superior Court. Bonnie J. Mizdol, the presiding judge in that case, ruled that Ben-Haim’s daughter was being illegally held in Israel and ordered her immediate return to the USA. In her August 25, 2011 ruling Mizdol noted, “This Court finds that the entire situation was laden with duress,” concerning the father’s experience in the Israeli judiciary.
Israeli authorities refuse to honor the court’s order, which Shamir attributes to a massive campaign by feminists to destroy father-child relationships. “Radical feminist groups have deep pockets to threaten Israeli authorities. A substantial portion of those deep pockets are Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein’s American Evangelical donors,” says Shamir.
An Israeli Evangelical father, who does not want to be identified, states his children are being forcibly converted to Orthodox Judaism in the sa me Israeli family courts. “It fundamentally violates the Human Rights Treaty which Israel signed,” he says. “What is worse is American Evangelicals have no idea they actually cause great harm to the Body in Israel by donating to Eckstein.”
Another Plaintiff in this lawsuit, , Sol Havivi, is a disabled veteran and single father. He recounts horrible physical and verbal abuse he has suffered while pleading for help. Havivi says he has recordings of an official admitting they distorted their reports to deny him equal access to assistance that they provide to disabled single mothers in similar situations. “Eckstein uses your donated money to perpetuate a fraud against men and has a warped idea of the ‘poor woman’ syndrome,” states Havivi. “Nothing could be farther from the truth.”
The International Fellowship of Christians & Jews (IFCJ) quotes Genesis 12:3, which calls on Gentiles to bless Jews, as their justification for collecting donations from Evangelical Christians. The lawsuit states, “While the donors believe in the strength of the families, IFCJ sends money to organizations such as Na’Amat in Israel, which are devoted to the break-up of Jewish families, annihilation of men in divorce, and disengagement of fathers from children.”
The IFCJ has already had difficulty securing legal representation in this case. According to the court file, their current attorney is the third after the first two were terminated soon after filing each of their appearances. The IFCJ headquarters in Chicago was not available for comment and their office in Israel was not aware of the lawsuit at the time of this writing.Reference: Sharon Ben Ham, et al vs. Neeman, et al (#2:12-cv-00351-JLL-MAH)