“Thirteen reasons why I am afraid of Israel”

Marianne Azizi

By Marianne Azizi

Since I wrote my book, uncovering the hidden abuse perpetrated by family laws in Israel, I have had somewhat of an identity crisis.

I didn’t want to enter the political arena, especially as my life has been broken enough by this wretched country. It’s taken me a few months to realize that any criticism of Israel’s systems brings the expected accusations of anti-Semitism.

Not one for conflict, I’ve tried to sit on the fence and merely relate my own tragic personal story, but as it is tempting to confront Israel, then it’s automatically political, so I’m told.

  1. It scares me because Israel has changed me irrevocably. I have learned to be rude and arrogant on my visits. I’ve picked up the Israeli skill and value of win/lose, don’t negotiate and beat the opposing view into submission and play their ace card every time.
  2. I’ve learned denial and silence is a great weapon and normal human emotions of those caught up in either family law destruction or strong political views (of which this must be the majority) are absent. I remember I live in a calm country, England, and cannot use those tactics here.
  3. I’m afraid to express my views in full; having received anonymous death threats, who knows what could happen to me or my family.
  4. My family fear, not only for me but themselves too for my daring to take on the mighty Israel and challenge its system.
  5. I’m afraid, because perhaps naively I commented a few times on Israel’s natural inhumanity to its own Jewish citizens, and dared to have an opinion that despite Israel’s right to exist, it wasn’t a far stretch that continuing to treat everyone with brutality is wrong… It’s going to win me a lot of enemies and perhaps friends who can’t protect me.
  6. I’m afraid at times for my future, as my entire wealth was squandered on countless lawyers, full of empty promises while taking my money up front and delivering nothing. Now in middle age, what will I do to start again?
  7. I’m afraid I will never get the justice which I can prove, for the very courts which stole my life are the same courts I have to endure to achieve the retrieval of my funds.
  8. I’m afraid because I feel certain that as an Englishwoman who never quits, I might be an unwelcome addition to government lists or something worse. I’ve learned to adopt at times the cultural paranoia of Israelis – “not for the phone”, “don’t email this”, “don’t talk about this”.
  9. I’m afraid for children there, who will possibly grow up without fathers – who’ve committed suicide as dying is a preferable option than living in a hell created by domestic laws.
  10. I’m afraid of a country which uses freedom of movement as a weapon to make money. A country which is the strongest in the Middle East, and while fearing no one acts like a bully in the school playground.
  11. I’m afraid one day I’ll receive a phone call or email to say the man I loved and sacrificed everything for his right to be able to leave Israel is dead, for his right to leave required 36 years child support up front.
  12. I’m afraid that after a decade of asking for help and awareness of the primitive laws abusing thousands of people, my battle was futile and the refusal to change their ways means I’ve lost.
  13. It makes me afraid when I see headlines of another suicide or murder committed by someone who has been emotionally and mentally broken yet again..

I have to face my fears now. No more sitting back. I can’t pretend anymore that I wrote an extreme and harrowing story in isolation. If I was fluent in the language, perhaps I’d be campaigning and trying to expose the system over in Israel…

[I]f Israel wants to be a member of our democratic society, then it had better start now to restore sanity and fairness to its domestic laws, or risk creating a new generation of people who have learned to destroy each other, just because they can.

Marianne Azizi is author of the book Sour Milk and Stolen Honey.

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