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Investigative journalism and defense of human rights are the activity and vocation of Marianne Azizi. I asked her, during her recent visit to Italy, to tell us how she became the voice of the Israelis who are prevented from making known the violations of human rights suffered because of the laws and practices of their country.
How to present Marianne Azizi to Italian readers?
I can say ... I'm an ' accidental activist! It was chance, or fate, to induce me to this commitment to human rights and to concentrate mainly on one country. As you know, having published one of my articles on your blog , I was married to a divorced Israeli citizen, who had children; all normal until I clashed with a face of Israel of which I did not suspect the existence. To have publicized the story of my husband it happened that many people have searched me on the net, they have exposed their cases, have asked for help for the complexities that reserve the relationship with the courts. No one can imagine the reality: the laws are not public, you can not consult them, you have to go through a lawyer, which costs time and money, and the same happens for the material of the indictments against you. Then there is the corruption that pervades the judicial system, if a judge is corrupt, that is: if you can no longer rely on the judicial system, it is like not having a state behind.
I found myself fighting to save, it is right to say so, my husband following the divorce from his first wife. I was a business woman and a combative person, a British citizen who believed in justice, convinced that, by taking the right steps, you get correct sentences, but I had to change my mind.
Are you talking about a corrupt system that only wealthy people can face hoping to win?
It's not just a matter of bribes, money is not enough to get justice because the judges behave arbitrarily simply because ... they can do it. They can, it is so, though at the beginning it seems incredible to people who turn to me desperate, looking for the reason for certain measures or sentences. If you are looking for a rational reason, you become crazy. They capture your body, with no exit orders or imprisonment, and so they take your soul hostage too. One feels suffocated ... in Israel it is commonly spoken of feeling suffocated and needing to breathe ...
When did you surrender?
I never gave up! At a certain point I even thought I almost made it because we had won in 85 cases, but ended one of them opened another ... I got ruined financially, I spent what I had, sold my beautiful English house, but in the meantime my husband, forced to stay there, it was "broken". It is he who has surrendered.
Israel ... the land of milk and honey, but for me it was sour milk and stolen honey. So I titled my book, which was a success in Amazon and showed that mine was not a single case, but the sign of a general Israeli situation.
The world looks at Israel's control over Palestinians, but there are thousands and thousands of Israelis who can not leave the country.To try and be arrested at the border means a sentence, even two years in prison. When you talk about freedom in Israel you talk about the condition of an elite!
Certainly it was the book Sour milk and stolen honey to give fame to your name, but I would like to understand: your work as an activist specifically to whom it is addressed?
Especially for foreigners trapped - or someone trapped there - by Israeli family law, regarding divorces and the issue of children. To help those looking for me I had to widen the observation to the Israeli system as a whole, discovering the breadth of the business around the institutionalization of children, the loneliness of the disabled, the frightful corruption of the banking system and much more.
I had also translated and published your article on children taken away from families and I wonder: how is such a lawfulness possible ... illegal practice by the Institutions? Is there any power hidden in the shadows?
It is not hidden at all, acts in the light of the sun and moves the police and judges as pawns. The social workers put their "impressions" on paper, and with this they can take your child away or have a husband chased away in jail. A judge does not dare to go, for example, against their "impression" that a husband has problems of emotional control, and from that moment he could no longer see his children again.Women win in the vast majority of cases because social workers put into practice the "philosophy" of the Women's International Zionist Organization. The result is that a declaration of the woman to the judge is taken as truth, without being asked to give a proof.
This does not at all resemble the image of what in the West is called "the only democracy in the Middle East" ...
Of course! I want to reiterate a fundamental point: Israel does not care if there is worldwide condemnation of the oppression practiced on Palestinians, what the authorities do not allow to make known is the face of the state towards its citizens.
What we get to know is due to whistleblowers, informers who at their risk make the real state of things filter. If you want to have an idea you have to watch the video Top 5 Whistleblower in WORLD Spills Truth About World Leaders' Cooperation With Mafia . One of these, Rafi Rotem, has shed light on the corruption of the Tax Authority, the most gigantic case of the mafia ever existed in Israel.
At this point I ask: how is Marianne Azizi seen from Israel?
I did not want this, I told you that I became an activist by accident, because I know I'm in danger. The biggest ones come from the international Jewish community and they attack me mostly from America. I am writing for a site that is considered anti-Semitic even though most of the contributors are Jews, but when you criticize Israel, the old idea of self-hating jews takes off. I had contacted the mainstream newspapers but at the end important journalists told me clearly: there is an agreement, we can not talk about the internal issues of Israel, we can, yes, talk about the Palestinians but, attention, only the problems that Israel has with the Palestinians.
I remember the amazement of the Israeli activist Eran Efrati who, after sending a report on the behavior of IDF soldiers in the Occupied Territories to the newspaper Haaretz, had discovered the actions of the censorship.
For this reason, for internal censorship, I write, in my website and in others, in English. To give a voice to Israelis who can not find international channels to make their situation known. But I will not tire of saying it: the Israelis are not their government! No people in reality it is, but in Israel it is worse: you can not criticize otherwise you are put on the corner, called a Jew who hates himself, one of the extreme left ...
The control is also on the language ... note how absurd it is: one must say "Palestinians" and "Israel" ... that is, the Palestinians as a mass of individuals while Israel as a great entity above the people itself, or even as if there were no people inside it. People who oppose social policies have no voice, neither inside nor outside the borders of the state, which, incredibly, does not provide official data. You are the one to look for them, and it is adding cases and cases that you understand the dimension of social unease.
Often you attend the UN meetings in Geneva ...
Yes for many years, my first time was also the first time that the UN talked about internal social issues of Israel. It caused considerable sensation among delegates and public, a delegate covered them with insults: how can you treat your citizens so ... They were forced to admit that "there is something wrong" ! But you will understand that since then I have been labeled as an "enemy" of the state. I returned to Geneva in 2015 and it seemed to me right to say that Israel is entitled to exist, but not to have a life ...
We close with the video, from which I took the screen shot for the cover of the article, that your intervention at UNHCR where you focused on the subtraction, sudden and traumatic as a kidnapping, children to parents and their institutionalization .