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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

ICE declares Israeli father a 'war criminal' for serving in the IDF, bars him from the United States?

I cannot verify anything about this story, which I found in someone's Facebook feed. But if this is true, it's a travesty.

I'm writing these lines with tears running down my cheeks with sadness and anger choking my throat.
While all the official channels are blocked, and no one is helping, I have decided to write here, in the hope that this will be seen by someone who can help us, by people sharing what I've wrote.

7 months ago, an American immigration official called me a "war criminal", and decided to tear a family apart.
He took a baby from his mother, He took two small children from their father. He took my love from me, and me from her.

This morning I went back to being a single father again to my one-and-a-half year old baby. My love and two older children (7 and 4) returned to New York without us.

My name is Asaf, 36 years old. For the past ten years I have worked with youth at risk from some of the most problematic neighborhoods in Israel.
I ran a unique project helping jewish ethiopian immigrants. 
I've invested my time and energy to help those in need. I've never broken the law. I never deviated from the path of positive action and contribution to the community. Many people can vouch for that.
I served in the army as an infantryman in the paratroopers brigade, I did reserve duty, I worked hard for a living, guiding street children.
I finished university, I started a family and now I have three children. I've never been a burden to anyone.

Today, I live with my mother, working as a truck driver and raising Nikolas, my young son, alone.
I bring him to the nursery school every morning at seven, quickly run to my truck, and start a hard day's work, which ends at three. At the end of the day, I rush back into the day care center to pick up Niko and care for him until he falls asleep. Then, very tired, I try to enjoy an hour of peace and quiet and fall asleep myself. And so on and so forth every day for many months.

How did all this happen?

In August 2012 we moved to New York .Dana, my wife is an American citizen. Her two children (Sophie and Max) from a previous marriage are American citizens. Our son Nikolas is also an American citizen.
I have Israeli citizenship.
We started to build our family life together. Dana, myself, and the children. Regular people who want to have a normal and good family framework.

I have done nothing against the law. I did not work illegally, nor immigrated illegally. I did everything as I was asked to do with regards to my move to a new country.
Two months after we moved, Dana's parents came to visit us and we all went together on a family trip to Canada. When we returned from Canada to the United States, we were stopped at the border.
I met an immigration officer who decided to abuse an Israeli family. I was interrogated for over two hours, including threats of beating, insulting questions and degrading treatment.
The climax was when he called me a war criminal for my mandatory military service in the IDF.
He claimed I tortured Palestinians as a soldier in the Israeli army.
The immigration officer told me to return to Canada, and offered my family to go without me to New York.
Three small children crying and not understanding why daddy cannot go with them, complete shock by my American wife, and tired and sad grandparents.We all went back to Canada.

The next day I returned to Israel. Nikolas and I have been here for seven months. Faced with a very difficult situation, all because one man decided to break apart a family.

In the past seven months Dana has missed Nikolas taking his first steps.
I missed Sophie losing her first tooth. Max began to speak a little Hebrew and I wasn't there to talk to him and reassure him.

A mother tries to remind her baby who she is to him via Skype.
Dad tells a bedtime story via a computer screen for two small children.Sometimes, family dinners take place on computer screens while Nikolas tries to touch his mother and siblings and can't understand why he cannot reach them.
If you want to help us, please share this story so that we can reunite as quickly as possible.The situation is intolerable, every day apart is a loss that is difficult to assess.

Thank you for your help.

 Original here.

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At 8:35 AM, Blogger Michael W. said...

Couldn't he just go to a different border crossing?

At 9:00 AM, Blogger Ronin0985 said...

If it is true this situation is indeed horrifying.I mean you read all blogs and national news about how the Palestinian cause has become the du jour excuse for U.S. college kids to "rage against the machine" so to speak, but to run into it with a federal employee is both shocking and disturbing.

At 9:25 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

There is something wrong with this story. Something is missing. I don't know what it is but it doesn't pass the smell test so to speak. First off where is the American Jewish community on this? A phone call to one or two Rabbi's would have gotten it started. Also, did anyone call the State Department? I am not saying this is false and if true is a travesty. Something is just not right.

At 9:41 AM, Blogger Shy Guy said...

If this is for real, a lawyer like Alan Dershowitz needs to take up his cause.

At 8:04 PM, Blogger mrzee said...

Unless he's a Canadian citizen or legal resident, they can't tell him to go back to Canada. They could hold him and deport him to Israel.

Michael W. - All the border crossings in the vicinity would be notified he'd been denied entry. If he tries to cross elsewhere he could be charged with "forced entry" which can be fairly serious.

At 9:27 PM, Blogger dwave said...

Without an US passport, never enter the US from the Canadian border.

At 11:41 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

If allegations are true, he should have been arrested and not released. I hope all israeli war criminals including all generals and top officials will face justice.


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