Legal Rules and Cultural Bias: When are Intimate Partnerships with a Foreigner Considered 'Insincere' by Israeli Authorities?

THE DARTMOUTH LAW JOURNAL VOL. XVII:1, Spring 2019

27 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2019

See all articles by Yuval Livnat

Yuval Livnat

Refugee Rights Program

Galia Sabar

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Neta Mishly

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: September 9, 2019

Abstract

The article examines cases in which alleged spousal relationships, involving at least one non-Israeli, were labelled “insincere,” and therefore undeserving of legal recognition and protection, by Israeli administrative and judicial authorities. It argues that, in some cases, what led to such findings was the wrongful imposition of local cultural norms in assessing information the alleged spouses stipulated in their application and interviews – even though at least one spouse came from a different culture. The sociology of migration was also sometimes ignored in such decisions. Three examples of cultural diversity issues which Israeli officials overlooked are discussed: (non-)separation of assets between partners; perception of time and the demarcation of events by date; and methods of coping with personal predicaments (turning to witchcraft). The article concludes by recommending that state bureaucrats and judges become more sensitive to and cognizant of the diversity of cultural norms and the sociology of migration when evaluating the authenticity of a putative spousal relationship, in which at least one spouse comes from a different culture. Otherwise, sincere relationships might be erroneously labeled fictitious and genuine partners unduly split apart.

Keywords: immigration, spousal relationship, familial financial administration, witchcraft

Suggested Citation

Livnat, Yuval and Sabar, Galia and Mishly, Neta, Legal Rules and Cultural Bias: When are Intimate Partnerships with a Foreigner Considered 'Insincere' by Israeli Authorities? (September 9, 2019). THE DARTMOUTH LAW JOURNAL VOL. XVII:1, Spring 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3450743

Yuval Livnat (Contact Author)

Refugee Rights Program ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel

HOME PAGE: http://https://en-law.tau.ac.il/profile/livnat

Galia Sabar

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Neta Mishly

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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