Israeli welfare authorities killed Reut Ish Shalom

Reut Ish Shalom young women, was adopted at her childhood by the israeli social worker, trying to build her life but the Israeli social workers run after her until her tragic death
A Place Of Her Own :
Director: Sigal Emanuel | Producer: Dikla Barkai
  Produced In: 2011 | Story Teller's Country: Israel
Tags: Culture, Gender, Human Rights, Middle East, Relationships, Violence

Synopsis: For four years director Sigal Emanuel documented the life of Reut, a young girl who got moved from one institution to another until she winds up on the street and gets married. The documentation begins when Reut is a mere seventeen-year-old and gives birth to her first son, who is immediately taken away from her by the welfare authorities. During the filming, amidst fighting the state of Israel all on her own in order to regain custody of her son, she meets a Palestinian man, marries him, moves to his village, and gives birth to two additional children. Along the way she meets several people who, on one hand, try to help her, but also take advantage of the lost soul that she is. An impossible relationship takes form between her and her first son's foster family, religious Jews who live in a settlement in the Occupied Territories. Throughout the years, Emanuel gradually reveals Reut's introverted yet touching character. All she really wants is a place she can call home and some peace of mind, but her life is full of surprising and shocking turnabouts, right up until her life comes to a tragic end.

Canadian woman can't leave Israel because of ‘no exit’ order

There is a special facbook page called "Trapped in Israel" in order to follow and support Hana and other people that got to a situation like that - trapped with no reason in Israel.

Canadian woman claims she can't leave Israel ,Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod, Special to The CJN, Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Parents given temporary custody of her two sons after obtaining a ‘no exit’ order against her

JERUSALEM — Pregnant single mom Hana Gan is trying to get her kids back and return to Canada after being barred from leaving Israel last month and seeing authorities give temporary custody of her two sons to her parents.

According to her supporters, she sought to leave because her parents wanted her to be more religiously observant, while her parents contend she can’t care for her kids because she isn’t responsible with money.

Gan, who has been advised by her supporters not to speak with the media, moved to Israel last December seeking a better life for her children, but almost immediately realized it was a mistake. Living with her parents at the time, she decided to return to Canada.

Earlier in February, according to spokesperson Moti Leybel of the Israeli organization Bereaved Parents with Living Children, Gan filed complaints with Israeli police alleging that her father was beating her. Then, saying her father had destroyed the children’s Canadian passports, she reached out for help to Leybel’s organization.

Leybel said situations such as Gan’s are common in Israel and that his organization represents “hundreds and hundreds of parents” whose children have been removed without cause by social services.

Leybel took Gan to the airport on Feb. 19, after she had obtained emergency passports for her children. He waited outside in case there was trouble. “I got this phone call, and she was crying, screaming and shouting. They tried to get her kids away. She told me, ‘I’m holding them tight, I don’t want them to take them.’”

She wasn’t allowed to leave Israel because her parents had obtained a “no exit” order against her. She managed to leave the airport, and Leybel took her and her sons, ages 5 and 6-1/2, to a friend’s apartment. However, on Feb. 22, police tracked them down.

Leybel said the police reaction was disproportionate. “They acted like she was a serial killer. At one point, there were 15 cops in the apartment, in the stairway.”

When police took Gan in for questioning, social workers handed her children over to her parents, Eli and Drora Gan, with whom they were to remain while awaiting a March 3 custody hearing.

Leybel said that with an emergency warrant, children can be removed from their parents’ home for up to seven days without a judge’s signature.

The social services department of the Mateh Yehudah Regional Council in Gan’s parents’ city of Beit Shemesh released a short statement reading, in part: “This is a complex matter which is now being held behind closed doors in court… we hope, of course, for a speedy resolution for the benefit of all those involved.”

According to her lawyer, Benny Dekel, Gan decided to leave Israel when her parents demanded “that she lead a life the way they see it, as frum Jews… She felt a little bit stressed and uncomfortable, so she decided to leave.”

Dekel said the parents obtained a “no exit” order with almost no documentation. “Whenever there’s even a small, minimal risk to kids, the courts give this order right away.” He said he’s working on cancelling the no exit order as well as restoring her guardianship of the children.

Gan’s mother, Drora, told The CJN the children would be in danger if they left Israel.

She said she and and her husband have tried for years to help Gan live independently with her children and only stepped in now because they saw no choice. “She has gambling and money problems. She used to spend all the rent money. There were always problems.”

Gan lived with them for four years in Canada, where they had returned for business reasons just after Gan’s divorce, Drora said, and she depended on them financially, despite receiving social assistance.

In a blog post from 2013, Gan admitted, “I don’t know if I’m ready to quit the gamble [sic], or stop shopping.” In that post, she called the timing of her parents’ return to Toronto just after her divorce “miraculous.”

Although Gan was born in Israel, she qualified as a new immigrant and received financial aid on arrival. Drora said Gan spent the money shopping, leaving her penniless again.

“As soon as she arrives in Canada, the children would be on the street. She has no house, no driving license. She lost it when she didn’t pay her parking tickets. She doesn’t have any credit cards because of all her credit problems. She couldn’t rent a place because nobody would rent to her.”

Gan’s supporters sent The CJN letters from three Toronto families offering her a home. One, Rebecca Sorokin, met Gan and her children in 2014. She said she’s disgusted with any system that separates mothers from children without due process. “I am half-Israeli, but I’m… [also] a social worker, and I’m a mom. We shouldn’t support [Israel] no matter what, if there’s flaws in the system.

“This is just a loving mom, trying to cope and take care of her kids. She just wants to get back home where she felt safe.”

Drora rejected allegations that Gan isn’t safe in Israel or that her father, Eli, abused Gan during her current pregnancy.

“People think my husband beat her in the tummy, put her on the floor. What is he, an SS man? She can make up stories,” Drora said. “You should see how her children love my husband, their grandfather. They tell him, ‘Saba, you are the best in the world.’”

She also says Gan’s non-Jewish ex-husband in Canada has sent a letter supporting their custody claim, saying he wants his children raised as Jews.

Though she and her husband Eli are religious, Drora insisted, “We never fought over religion… We never fought with her to come here [to Israel]. She wanted to come, she said, ‘My children will have a better life.’”

Attempts to reach the Canadian Embassy for comment on the case were unsuccessful.

- See more at:
We are in Israeli airport, Anna is a Canadian citizen,  she wants to go out of israel but she is trapped. For some reasons the israeli social workers want to take her kids.

Unreported Israel: the stolen children

Unreported Israel: the stolen children, Editor

Marianne Azizi writes:

Moti Leybel, the Israeli human rights activist, finds himself in hot water again. Last month he faced a trial for his right to freedom of expression, and next week he will face yet another trial.

Moti Leybel: Harassed for exposing injustice
Moti Leybel: Harassed for exposing injustice

Moti is being harassed because he is trying to expose the injustices of the Israeli welfare system and what appears to be the cruel decisions welfare officials are making to separate children from their parents. In his desire to protect the vulnerable, he has stood up to be counted, alongside two particular women this week.

Ora Moore Joseph is a young woman who was desperate for a child. Her only problem was being wheelchair bound, so she could not have a natural childbirth. A distant relative offered to help and have a baby for her. They went to Thailand, and filled out all the necessary forms there. Returning with her surrogate to have the baby in Israel, Ora informed the welfare authorities of her actions and her desire to adopt the baby. She received no replies from the welfare office, so assumed all was well.

Ora Moore Joseph: Social workers snatched her daughter the moment she was born
Ora Moore Joseph: Social workers snatched her daughter the moment she was born

When Ora’s baby was born the social workers arrived at the hospital to take the baby for adoption. Ora begged them, pleaded with them, explaining she had paid for the surrogacy, and also asked if her sister could adopt the baby. She thought perhaps her disability was the problem.

Her child was taken away from her on the basis of a report which declared that Ora didn’t have the same genetics as the child, which disqualified her from adopting the child. The authorities refused her pleas and took the baby shortly after birth. Ora fought and tried everything she could to have her baby returned, and finally turned to Moti Leybel after two years of fruitless efforts.

Iris Cohen was a contented mother of three daughters. Her marriage broke down, and she was bringing up her children alone, aged six months, four and six years old. Her ex-husband wanted to make life a little difficult, so made several complaints to the welfare authorities challenging Iris’s ability to take care of her children.

It doesn’t take many false complaints to turn a life upside down in Israel. In fact over 80 per cent of complaints are false. One day Iris travelled to the kindergarten/school to collect her girls, and they were gone. They had been removed from the school and subsequently separated and put into adoption. Iris has been bereaved for four and a half years, unable to see her children, only having photographs sent twice a year, which bear no resemblance to her daughters. She has been unable to fight the system and is the shadow of who she once was.

Iris turned to Moti Leybel and begged him to expose the problem. His work as a human rights activist is to lead the struggle of the vulnerable in society against the welfare authorities, who need little reason to remove children from their parents and place them in both government and private institutions.

Moti did what he does best. He prepared posters, and with his megaphone he went out into the streets and openly protested on behalf of the two women. The posters said:

In this street lives the main adoption social worker named Orna Hirshfeld. She disconnects children from their parents and I am living proof from Dimona. I am a bereaved mother to a living child. The child trafficking by the welfare authorities must end, and Orna Hirshfeld is hiding behind the closed doors of the court that is defending social workers and helping to cover up their crimes.

Moti is currently prevented from protesting on behalf of these women, though there are many hundreds, if not thousands more who ask for his personal help.

Israel continues to disintegrate from social injustice. Men are disconnected from their children daily; mothers who struggle alone live in the fear of their children being taken at any moment and pushed through a very profitable system of institutions and unnecessary adoptions. The bailiff system in Israel has nearly two million alleged debt cases, with unofficial figures showing a quarter of those people are prevented from leaving Israel.

It is an illusion for those outside the country to assume Israelis spend their time discussing politics and the conflict around them. Millions of them are desperately trying to keep their families together, earn a living with up to three jobs, and find an affordable roof to live under.

The funds which should help Israelis are being spent in all the wrong ways. In the last few weeks, scandal after scandal has been rocking the country, from corrupt public utilities, political parties, religious scandals and most of all from the welfare system which is doing very nicely from the USD 1 billion dollar family breakdown industry.

If Moti Leybel is gagged next week, who will continue to be the voice of the people? It is the turn of the West to expose these actions against men, women and children. The cycle of despair needs to stop and soon.

How Two Governments Failed Me and My American Children

How Two Governments Failed Me and My American Children By Rick Myers with assistance from Marlene Woods , July 2012
Over 9 years ago, my children’s mother kidnapped our two sons to Israel. I haven’t seen them in 6 years. $150,000 and several attorneys later, I’m no closer to seeing my two boys, now 9 and 13 years old, than I was nine years ago. Here’s the story of how the U.S. State Department and the government of Israel have failed my American children.

In 1998, while working as an expatriate in Israel, I met and married Ranya. We lived in Israel for 2 years and in January, 2000 were transferred back to the U.S. after our first son, Dean, was born. Two years later, Ranya became pregnant with our second son, Adi. She told me that she wanted to be close to her family during her pregnancy. In February, 2003, when she was four months pregnant, she left for Israeli. We agreed that she would return soon after Adi was born. This was planned to occur in September, 2003.

Ranya never returned with our boys.

For about the next year, I made multiple trips to Israel to see my sons and discuss with Ranya their return to Oregon. However, she kept putting me off. At one point, I purchased round trip airline tickets for them to visit me for 2 months but she cancelled the trip at the last minute. At the beginning of 2005, I realized that she wasn’t returning and confronted her head on about her plans.

Ranya told me she was not coming back and the boys would not be leaving Israel.

Realizing the magnitude of the situation, I consulted two lawyers in New York and Oregon who specialized in international affairs. The advice from both was to file for divorce in Israel and get joint custody. I took their advice, hired yet another attorney and filed for divorce in Israel.

In May of 2006, I flew to Israel for the first divorce hearing in the Sharia court while the custody hearing took place in an Israeli Family Court. Because Israel is a religious country, I needed to litigate in both a religious court (Sharia) as well as a civil court (Family Court). I won in the Israeli Family Court by getting joint custody for my children in Israel and the United States. The Sharia court, however, scheduled another hearing for July, 2006. I went back home to work for two months and returned for the Sharia court hearing on the divorce. When I returned to Israel, my ex-wife’s attorney ambushed me. She handed me three envelopes. The first was notice that they were taking me back to court to reverse the custody decision in the Family Court. The second envelope was a lawsuit for spousal support of $12,000 per month. The last envelope was a notice of “No Exit” on my passport. Ranya’s attorney looked at me with a smile and said I would not be able to leave the country unless I paid her client $300,000 cash and agreed to support payments of $6,000 per month.

Two hearings, on the issue of the “No Exit” Order, within a five-week span did not deliver a decision and the hotel and rental car bills were mounting.

I had no more money and needed to get back to the U.S.
When I went for help at the U.S. Embassy, they told me it was a local issue and couldn’t help me. The Israeli Family Court said I had to provide a guarantee of continued spousal support in order to let me leave the country. Even though I had been paying faithfully all of this time, they still wanted a $96,000 cash guarantee. I didn’t have it. I even offered my vacation home in Israel as collateral but that wasn’t good enough. I was trapped.
The Israeli government wouldn’t help me and my own government had turned its back on me.
On August 11, 2006, I was able to sneak out of the country with an expired passport I happened to have with me. While this bold move got me out of the country, it still causes me issues as I will never be able to leave Israel again if I return. I did find out later that Israeli law does not allow for “No Exit” Orders to be issued against a foreigner for purposes of securing alimony or child support. But that is exactly why I was being held in Israel and the U.S. Embassy wouldn’t do anything to help me.


In May, 2007, I contacted the U.S. State Department Office of Children’s Issues (OCI) to find out what my rights were. On their recommendation, I promptly filed a petition for access under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. My caseworker also volunteered to arrange for the U.S. Embassy to perform a Welfare and Whereabouts Check on my sons as I had been cut off from any contact for the last 6 months, gifts I had sent were being returned to me and I didn’t know if they were OK.

From June, 2007 until late September, 2007, the Office of Children’s Issues did not return my calls or my emails. It took my attorney in Oregon to get the caseworker to return my call. When she finally did, she apologized and then asked me to fill out more paperwork, which I did. I didn’t hear from the Office of Children’s Issues until four months later in January, 2008 when they told me that my petition had been lost and I would have to start the process over again.
From March, 2008 through May, 2008, the U.S. Embassy, at the request of the OCI tried contacting my sons by phone. They were finally able to talk to my oldest son, Dean, and his grandmother, but were not given permission to visit the home to assess the welfare of my children. The report from the U.S. Embassy indicated that Dean seemed OK, but they were not 100% sure that my sons were even living with their mother.
One month later (June, 2008), I received word from OCI that the U.S. Embassy was going to perform an unannounced Welfare and Whereabouts Check within a week. Two days later, I was awoken by a phone call at 2 o’clock in the morning. The call was from the Office of Children’s Issues telling me there was a serious problem and they needed my help to get two U.S. Embassy employees out of jail. I was told to fax a letter stating that I had authorized the school visit along with a signed copy of the Israeli custody agreement to the police station and the U.S. Embassy. I was confused and full of questions.
  • Why would they need a letter from me now?
  • Why didn’t they already have the custody agreement that I was required to submit with my Hague Application?
I reluctantly did as I was asked, but it became very clear to me that someone made a BIG mistake sending these embassy employees to the school without any documentation.
The next day I received a 4-word email from the U.S. Embassy. It stated simply, “all charges were dropped!” But that is all any official will fess up to. Neither the OCI nor the U.S. Embassy will tell me what actually happened at the school (though I now have some additional information from a different source). I am not able to talk about the details of the school incident on the advice of my attorney. The OCI actually called to tell me that what happened was not pertinent to my case and my requests to find out what did happen would not be answered by any government agency. The OCI then sent me an email informing me that because their relationship with Ranya was strained, they could no longer help me gain access to my children and advised me to hire an Israeli attorney.
One week later, I received the final report from OCI with their version of the events. Here is a summary of what the official U.S. State Department report says happened during that visit:
Three embassy employees arrived at the school at approximately 10:30 a.m. The Embassy driver waited with the vehicle while the two Embassy employees entered the school grounds. Once inside they stood in the foyer. A group of students walked toward them. One Embassy employee asked the fair-skinned boy with blond hair wearing a baseball hat in Hebrew, ”Are you Dean?” The child said he was Dean. The Embassy employee told Dean her name and said she was from the U.S. Embassy. Dean immediately started to cry.
A secretary came out of the school office and asked who they were. The secretary identified herself and suggested the four of them (Dean, the secretary and the two embassy employees) go into the office and call Dean’s mother to request permission for us to speak to Dean. The Embassy employees did not see Dean again. After his mother arrived, they were not allowed to speak to, see or photograph Dean.
Due to the current climate between you and your ex-wife, and between Mrs. Myers and the Embassy, The Office of Children’s Issues does not foresee requesting the Embassy to make another attempt at visiting Dean or his brother in the near future without either a police escort, a court order or both.
Imagine, through their own incompetence, OCI had complicated my case!
One week after the incident, I received notice from an Israeli Court of a Restraining Order against me, who was not even there, and the U.S. Embassy. Not only will OCI no longer work on my behalf for access to my children, they are covering up whatever happened in Israel at my son’s school! At that point, my only option was to hire a high profile attorney, Patricia Apy, who specialized in both Sharia Law and International Family Law.
What she discovered is both stunning and disturbing. The U.S. Embassy made three major mistakes:
  1. They did not notify the Israeli Central Authority, as required by the Hague Convention, that they were performing a Welfare Check;
  2. They did not notify the local police, as required by the Hague Convention, that they were performing a Welfare Check;
  3. My 7-year old son began to cry because he was traumatized when a 3rd party security guard (not the U.S. Embassy employee) approached him.
None of this is was reflected in OCI’s final reports to myself, Senator McCain (AZ), Senator Kyle (AZ), Congressman Flake (AZ) or Congressman Mitchell (AZ).
What could have possibly gone so wrong where our closest friend and ally had U.S. Embassy employees arrested? Was Israel simply thumbing their nose at the U.S. and not abiding by the Convention or was it total incompetence by the U.S. Embassy and the OCI? I am sure there is more to this story and I intend to find out.

This part of the story has to do with the divorce and alimony maneuvers which are the real reasons my ex-wife won’t let me see our children.

After getting out of Israel in August, 2006, with the expired passport, I hired an attorney and filed for divorce in Oregon since clearly the Israeli divorce wasn’t working out so well. Ranya hired an attorney as well and in May, 2007 the Oregon divorce was final. We split assets – including my retirement.

Amazingly, Ranya then went back to the Sharia Court in Israel to get a dowry of $300,000. When this was denied, she decided to use a January, 2007 Israeli Family Court ruling from a support hearing held 6 months after I left Israel and did not participate in, upheld in Oregon. That ruling says that she is to get 70 percent of my gross salary. It should be noted that in Israel, Ranya has to choose either Sharia Law or Israeli Civil Law, when it comes to the subject of Spousal and Child Support, not both as she was attempting to do here.

After three hearings, the Oregon judge voted in my favor and vacated the order in April, 2008. The judge went even further and ruled that the Israeli courts had failed to provide me due process. This is my favorite part of the judgment:
“In the proceedings in Israel, the Petitioner [Me] was restrained from exiting Israel unless he paid a security deposit of $96,000 or provided a guarantee for payment deemed acceptable to the court. This order placed the Petitioner in a patently unfair position of having to stay in Israel throughout the proceedings (and perhaps beyond), which would cost him his job located in the United States, then paying out a large sum of money prior to a final hearing regarding support, or the loss of his ability to control the proceedings if he left in violation of the order. Such an order is a violation of public policy, and if ordered by an American court, likely a violation of his constitutional rights.”
I’m now a resident of Arizona. In March, 2012, I received a letter from the Arizona Department of Economic Security indicating their intention to pursue enforcement of the 2007 Israeli support order that stated I was to pay almost $7,000 per month – the same order that the Oregon judge dismissed in April, 2008! Although I provided the Assistant Attorney General in Arizona with a copy of the Oregon ruling, she clearly did not take the time to read it as I now have to hire another attorney to fight the same battle I already fought and won in Oregon.
Now some may think that I am simply a “Deadbeat Dad” trying to avoid my obligations to my children. However, I would like to interject here that since 2003, when Ranya left with my sons for Israel, I have been giving her $2,500 dollars per month.

The financial costs to fight a legal case such as mine are more than most people can handle. I am fortunate to have been able to keep up with the legal bills until now. The real cost however, is the emotional damage done to my two boys as a result of being alienated from their father.

It is impossible for me to understand the complete lack of empathy and accountability of the people who work in government agencies specifically created to help American children and Left-Behind Parents, such as myself. Additionally, the Hague Convention is a treaty that is signed by many countries, such as Israel and the United States, yet there are still thousands of children who do not have access to their parents. Quite obviously, the State Department has been inept at holding countries like Israel accountable.

In my case, there are several instances of mistakes, ineptitude and a lack of accountability by both the Israeli and United States governments:
  • Israel, our strongest ally in the Middle East, illegally issued a “No Exit Order” on my passport;
  • The U.S. Embassy refused to get involved to ensure that my civil rights were not violated by Israel;
  • The Office of Children’s Issues lost my petition for access under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. I found out two years later, through Patricia Apy, that the OCI never even formally filed the second petition for access that I submitted to the OCI;
  • A Welfare and Whereabouts Check performed by the U.S. Embassy, at the direction of OCI, was botched and U.S. Embassy officials were arrested due to a total lack of understanding of protocol required under the Hague Convention. This event alone has resulted in further complicating my case. To date, the State Department will not take responsibility for their actions;
  • The Arizona Department of Economic Security (Child Support Enforcement Division) has notified me that they will be registering an Israeli Support Order – one which had already been litigated and vacated in Oregon four years prior. By ignoring the Oregon courts ruling, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office plans to start garnishing my wages.
These are all examples of what has happened to me during my fight for access to my sons. I am positive that there are many more examples of various government’s lack of accountability that other Left-Behind Parents deal with every day. I can only hope for myself and other Left-Behind Parents the passage of H.R. 1940 (The Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction, Prevention and Return Act of 2012) – a bill designed to give more teeth to a treaty already in place.
That being said, it will still take the action of our Congressman, Senators, the OCI and even the President to ensure that the United States and other countries are held accountable for the return of and access to our American children.

How Two Governments Failed Me and My American Children By Rick Myers with assistance from Marlene Woods , July 2012
How Two Governments Failed Me and My American Children By Rick Myers with assistance from Marlene Woods , July 2012