Children with their mother. 'Son never wants to wake up'
Photo: Dana Kopel
A Swedish man whose former Israeli partner kidnapped their two children is relieved by the Petah Tikva District Court's ruling that the children will be returned to their father.
Despite the ugly legal battle between the two parents over their children's future, M. still hopes that the mother will decide to return to Sweden as well, while the woman is preparing to appeal the decision at the Supreme Court.
M. says he cannot understand how his world changed from one end to the other on one bright day.
"I last saw the children two weeks ago, when I was in Israel," he told Ynet. "My ex-partner's actions are horrible, and I still can't understand how she could act this way. I am finding it difficult to comprehend that she planned the whole thing for three year, operating lawyers she had in Israel."
Apart from his Israeli lawyer, Varda Efrat, M. has no one to support him in Israel in his fight for his children. Ever since he left the Jewish state and returned to his homeland, he has only met his children several times.
"I met them two weeks ago and planned to finally spend time with them alone, but my ex-partner's mother stayed to 'supervise'. I didn’t want to talk to them about these issues, so I took them to a playground," he said.
M. is losing sleep over his children's condition, saying his is aware of the difficult situation they are forced to deal with.
"I feel terrible because I know their emotional state is not good. I know this from Israel's welfare services," he said painfully. "Their mother is brainwashing them. I hear it in my son's voice, when he told the welfare services that he wants to go to sleep and never wake up because of this situation. The last thing my kids need now is a media uproar around them."
Plot planned in advance?
According to Attorney Efrat, the children's abduction to Israel was the peak in a series of moves planned by the mother for three years, with the clear aim of gaining possession of the children without their father being involved.
"She deceived him in her conduct," the lawyer said. According to Efrat, M. arrived in Israel with a tourist visa and eventually returned to Sweden without trying to integrate in Israel, as it was clear beyond any doubt that the family's stay in Israel was temporary and that they would all return home eventually.
But the mother, who works as a kindergarten teacher, began delaying her return for different reasons. She asked to extend the stay, claiming she had been promoted at the kindergarten, and ask her partner to wait until the end of their children's school year, saying that they would all return to Sweden immediately afterwards.
After M. rejected the mother's request, she began preventing him from talking to his children. "Here in Israel she stated that she and her children were 'returning citizens'. She noted that she was single and didn't have a partner, as if these children have no father. The moves were planned and initiated by here. These are facts which have also been acknowledged by the court," the lawyer added.
Now M. hopes that the mother's appeal will be denied by the Supreme Court and that the children will return to Israel by mid December, as the judges ruled.
"I only want like to continue the way it was before," he said. "I hope their mother returns too. It will be good for them. They don't need fighting; they need parents, a mom and a dad."