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 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. He is also the son of Shas spiritual leader and senior Sepharadi adjudicator Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who repeatedly spoke out against turning to a secular court for arbitration, rather than to a rabbinical court. 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.