Emmanuel disputants turn to mediation

Court to discuss request next week; parents to spend Shabbat in jail.

June 25, 2010 16:24
2 minute read.
Haredi girls.

haredi girls 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

The High Court of Justice will discuss on Sunday a request by the disputants in the Emmanuel affair to allow the sides to reach an agreement through mediation.

The disputants requested that the court freeze the impending arrest orders and free the imprisoned fathers before Shabbat. The court declined, stating the request would be discussed on Sunday.

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“The obligation to carry out the verdict is a given, and as such does not require any mediation efforts,” read a statement by the court. “The only way to secure release from prison would be to adhere to the court’s Tuesday decision … to combine the hassidic and general classes at the [Emmanuel] school.”

The State Attorney's Office stated that it welcomes “any mediation attempt” that would cause the court's verdict to be fulfilled, but stressed that the imprisonment orders should be linked to nothing but following the court's verdict.

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Twenty-two mothers and 35 fathers were supposed to begin two-week jail terms for refusing to return their daughters to the school once the walls dividing the “hassidic track” from the rest of the school were removed at the court’s order. Most of the fathers involved showed up at the police station on Thursday and began serving their time.

The High Court exempted thirteen of the Emmanuel mothers from the two-week prison term it had ruled upon them, but at the same time upheld its decision regarding nine of the mothers - who will still have to serve the time, but only after their husbands are released.

Attorney Dr. Aviad Hacohen, representing plaintifs Yoav Laloum and the Noar Kahalacha NGO, and Mordechai Green, the attorney representing the parents from Emmanuel serving prison time or facing it, stated in their request that both sides agree that the mediators will be Rabbi Ya'acov Avraham Cohen and Rabbi David Yosef, brother of Rabbi Ya'acov Yosef, Laloum's spiritual mentor.

The mediators will be permitted to add a third party upon whom they agree, and will present the court with the results of the mediation by August 25. The lawyers also noted their gratitude to Ram Kaspi, the high caliber attorney who helped the sides reach the mediation proposal.

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