Today as I was scanning some recent court decisions, I came across a decision by Judge Sari Jayyoussi of the Nazareth Family Court that made me look twice. When I started reading it, I just had to chuckle, it was such an “only in Israel” moment.
The plaintiff asked the court to formally recognize – and register – his daughter, as such. Strange request. Not if you consider that the man is Israeli, and his wife a Syrian citizen whom he married in Jordan. The mother and daughter are currently in Jordan.
The father petitioned to perform genetic testing in accordance with the Law of Genetic Information, 5761- 2000, in order to register his daughter with government agencies, and ultimately it seems from the case, apply for her to receive Israeli citizenship.
The catch? The mother can’t come to Israel with the daughter to perform the genetic testing because of her Syrian citizenship. (We don’t have diplomatic relations with them; a bit of an understatement).
The State’s representative in the proceedings (the State is always a respondent petitions to do in genetic testing of minors) agreed to the petition on the condition that the saliva sample be taken from the mother and daughter at the Israeli diplomatic mission in Jordan. (We still have diplomatic relations with them.) The State also wanted that genetic testing to be done for the mother, in addition to the father and daughter.
The father asked that the mother not be tested, since if Syrian authorities discovered that she went into an Israeli diplomatic mission, they might make things difficult for her in her home country. The judge felt that the father’s claim was patently reasonable, and exempted the mother from testing.
In addition, the State had wanted the mother to sign her consent to the process before an Israeli consular representative in Israel. Once again, the judge concurred that this could endanger the mother, and made do with a handwritten declaration from her.
The judge went on to argue that the plaintiff had a constitutional right as a citizen of the state to clarify the matter of his daughter’s patrimony, so that he could fulfill his right as a citizen to apply for citizenship for her. Therefore, he could not accept the State’s demand that the process be executed in such a way that was not feasible for the mother, and would frustrate the entire process.
The judge ordered that the father go to Jordan, accompany the girl to the Israeli mission to do the saliva sample (apparently there is some procedure in place for this), and bring the sample back to the lab in Israel.
Maybe stuff like this happens elsewhere, but it seemed to me to be yet another illustration of what makes our lives so interesting.