Yifat Zohar married Goodluck Ayemo in Nigeria and applied for permission for him to come to Israel to start the naturalization process as her spouse, but the ministry refused to let him into the country.By Talila Nesher
Yifat Zohar, 42, married Goodluck Ayemo in Nigeria about a year ago and then applied for permission for him to come to Israel to start the multiyear naturalization process as her spouse. But the ministry refused to even let him into the country.
| Yifat Zohar and Goodluck Ayemo. |
|Photo by: Alon Ron|
In its response to her application, the ministry's Population and Immigration Authority wrote that Zohar "asked us to consider her advanced age, because she "wants to bring at least one child [into the world] before it is too late" - a statement that attests to her true intentions in entering into marital relations" with Ayemo.
Moreover, it wrote, "for you, this is a third marriage, and the second to a foreigner, while for Mr. Goodluck, this is a second marriage." The authority was also disturbed that "you're the one who financed the entire cost of his flight and even bought the ring, while he promised to repay you the money once he is working in Israel," as well as by the fact that the two initially met while Ayemo was here illegally.
Taken altogether, it concluded, Zohar did not supply enough evidence to show that "this is a genuine, honest relationship and not a move whose entire purpose is essentially a quid pro quo - for [Ayemo], obtaining status in Israel, and for [Zohar], a way to get pregnant."
This response was approved by the ministry's legal division.
Zohar said that she would accept the standard procedure of examining the validity of the relationship at various stages during the naturalization process. "But how is it possible to categorically deny the existence of a genuine relationship in advance?" she asked.
The authority declined to comment, saying its response to Zohar "needs no interpretation." Her lawyer, Yadin Elam, said that if the authority doesn't retract its decision, Zohar will fight its "ugly, chauvinistic" arguments in court.