Six years ago this week, my wife Marlen Ismalon took our six-year old son, Mathew Ismalon-Nagy, to Israel for a two-month visit combining personal and professional interests. Within two months it became apparent that she had no intention of returning to the United States. In July 2007, I filed a petition for my son’s return under the Hague Convention Regarding Internationally Abducted Children.
At the Office of Childrens Issues of the United States Department of State, indifference and incompetent communication was followed by cover-up and complicity with Israel in keeping children within the State of Israel in defiance with the Hague Convention Treaty. Israeli agencies, including its equivalent Office responsible for adhering to Hague Convention Guidelines, openly violate The Hague Convention Treaty. This has been my experience with both our State Department Office and communications directly with State of Israel employees in various offices.
In October 2010, after three years of failed communications with both offices, I filed two Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests. One was for a complete copy of my own case file; the second was for statistics regarding the number of similar cases of a child or children taken to Israel whose left behind parent filed a Hague Convention petition for return, with outcomes. Neither request was ever fulfilled, in spite of federal regulations in United States Code defining a requirement that each request is to be answered within thirty days, or “twenty business days.” This lack of follow-through is consistent with all that led up to filing those requests: a complete black-out of information regarding communications between Washington’s Office of Childrens issues and Israel’s equivalent office regarding my petition. The blackout merely continued at a higher level involving the entire Office of Childrens Issues, if not the highest levels of the State Department.
At the very center of this case is the fact that all communications with my son were severed in 2007. Open communication, or “Access,” between a “left behind” parent and an abducted child or children is a central commitment to all parties to The Hague Convention Treaty. This same commitment to access and communication is written into Israeli Penal Code. Violation of this tenet is called “stealing a child” in translations of the Israeli Penal Code, and is a felony. Many people in positions of authority in Israel have been provided irrefutable evidence that this continual violation of The Hague Convention Treaty and Isreali penal Code is a constant; not one has taken a step to correct this grievous circumstance. Instead, persons in both the United States and Israel in positions of authority to take appropriate action do the opposite: they actively perpetuate the violation of laws.
This experience teaches one that all parents who are “left behind” in the United States ought to know as soon as it becomes necessary to file a petition under The Hague Convention: the Office of Childrens issues within the State Department is thoroughly corrupt. And, relevant to cases involving children detained within Israel, that office serves not the interests of left behind parents, but instead the axiom spoken succinctly by Israel’s Deputy Consul to the United States based in San Francisco, Ismail Khaldi: “We need soldiers.”
My personal commitment is to peace, not war. It is to helping others, and finding common ground by which to live in harmony with others who are different in culture and beliefs. My beliefs and personal commitments, then, conflict severely with a culture of war and exclusive privilege that Israel represents in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world. Hence, it is obvious why the State of Israel endorses and actively participates in this continual condition that precludes communication between Mathew and me, between a son and his father. I do not want my son to become the soldier that the State of Israel intends for him to become in six years, and is actively indoctrinating him to become. I do not want Mathew to learn hate or contempt for those who are different, or outside an exclusive group to which the State of Israel is presently teaching him that he belongs.
To be continued …