Yishai: Court is not the answer

Shas against case despite discrimination; court to rule on moms.

By JONAH MANDEL, ABE SELIG, JPOST.COM STAFF
June 20, 2010 11:20
3 minute read.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai

Eli Yishai 311 aj. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Issues of discrimination should not be resolved via the legal system, Shas chair Eli Yishai told Army Radio on Sunday morning. "I won't participate in blasphemy, the matter of discrimination is solved through dialogue, not through courts," he said in the interview.

Yishai was responding to criticism leveled against Shas for not speaking out against alleged discrimination in the Emmanuel affair, in which dozens of parents have been jailed for refusing to send their daughters to the Beit Ya'acov school.

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The spiritual leader of Shas, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef said earlier that those who turn to secular courts for justice will not take part in the "next world." Yishai refused to comment on the rabbi's statement.

Rabbi Yoseph's son, Ya'acov Yoseph, the spiritual mentor of the group that filed the petition against the Emmanuel school, has decided to stop his activities against racial discrimination, after he and his family have been threatened.

Rabbi Ya'acov Yoseph announced on Saturday night that he was ceasing his activities against racial discrimination in the Emmanuel Beit Ya'acov school, following a recent influx of threats on members of his family, including his children and grandchildren. “So long as the threats were aimed at me, I continued my struggle. But now that my family members are being targeted, I'm quitting,” he was quoted by Kikar Hashabat as saying.

Yoseph is the spiritual mentor of Yoav Laloum, who along with his NGO Noar Kahalacha filed the original petition against the segregation at the Emmanuel school. Haredi assailants had also affronted Ya'acov Yosef on more than one occasion on Thursday, but he was not harmed.

Israel Radio cited Ya'acov Yosef as saying that there remain 33 rabbis dedicated to fighting racial discrimination in the haredi world, but they will remain anonymous to ensure their safety and steadfastness in their struggle.

Court to rule on imprisonment of Emmanuel mothers Sunday

The High Court of Justice on Sunday will decide whether to enforce its order to imprison the mothers from Emmanuel, who did not show up on Thursday for the beginning of their two-week incarceration. Twenty-two mothers and thirty-five fathers were supposed to begin two-week jail terms for holding the court in contempt, after they refused to return their daughters to the school, once the walls dividing between the “hassidic track” and the rest of the schools 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 court ruled that the segregation within the school was illegal as it was racially motivated, evident in the fact that it divided between Sephardi girls and the Ashkenazi ones from Slonim hassidut families. The Slonim parents insisted that the motivation behind the separation was religious stringency, and as proof cited the fact that a number of Sephardi girls were accepted to the hassidic track. Three Sephardi fathers were among those imprisoned on Thursday.

A few of the missing mothers are pregnant, some are breastfeeding, and most have many children. Devora Fuksman, one of them, gave birth to a girl on Thursday night. Her husband, Yehuda, stayed by his wife during the birth of his twelfth child, and reported to the Maasiyahu Prison on Friday morning. Two more fathers still have not reported to jail.


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