Jewish Home MK Shuli Mualem-Refaeli wants to undo parents’ legal guardianship of children in Israel.
The MK officially submitted, earlier this week, her own version of the law called “Parents and their Children,” which has been proposed by several MKs in different versions over the last three years.
The bill would strike out items 14 and 15 in Israel’s Legal Capacity and Guardianship Law (1962), which define a child’s parents as his or her legal guardians, and which place them in charge of deciding where the child will live, and of representing the child before the authorities.
In place of the concept of guardianship, the law defines a new concept, “parental responsibility,” which consists mainly of the parents' obligation to respect and uphold a series of “children’s rights” as defined by the bill.
The “parental responsibility,” in turn, can be limited or completely taken away by a court, should the authorities decide that the parent is not carrying out his or her “parental responsibility” properly.
The item’s on the list of “children’s rights” are far-ranging and nebulous, including “the right to be educated to a life of social responsibility and to respect of the basic rights of all human beings regardless of race, sex, religion, nationality or origin.”
Also listed as a basic right of children is “the right to freedom of thought, expression, conscience and religion, as well as the right to know their culture and use their language.”
The Parents and their Children Law is a long term project undertaken by persons associated with the radical left, most notably Judge (ret.) Savyona Rotlevy, who chaired a governmental committee in the 1990s and whose report provided the basis for the bill.
The bill is marketed to the public as an attempt to annul the so-called Tender Years’ Clause, which stipulates that children under six years old will go to their mother in divorce cases. As a result, coverage of the bill focuses on the debate between men’s groups and women’s groups regarding the Tender Years’ Clause, and the fact that it will gravely erode all parents’ status within their families is ignored in the public debate.
MK Moalem did respond to this report.