High Court: Parents hold the keys

Emmanuel parents' lawyer believes mothers will not be sent to prison.

Emmanuel 311 (photo credit: Channel 10)
Emmanuel 311
(photo credit: Channel 10)
The High Court reiterated Tuesday that the “keys to the prison” were in the Emmanuel school parents' hands, as they could still avoid incarceration by accept the court's ruling, or end it in the case of the incarcerated fathers.
Mordechai Green, attorney for the Emmanuel parents, said upon exiting the courtroom on Tuesday that he was confident the justices would take the welfare of the children into account, and waive the order to imprison the mothers for two weeks. Green stressed that this was also the stance of the State Attorney's Office, following the recommendation of the Ministry of Social Services, and even the original petitioner. The petitioner requested on Friday to release the imprisoned fathers and not incarcerate the mothers, since that measure proved inefficient in enforcing the court ruling to return the girls to school, which the Emmanuel parents continue to disobey.
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During the hearing, the court also warned the parents that refusing to return their girls to the re-unified school could be detrimental to their aspirations to open a private school in the future. Green said that such a condition was a breach of human rights.
Hopes that an arbitration agreement drawn up by a private rabbinical court would be a road map to the end of the Emmanuel affair were shattered again on Monday, as the three-member Jerusalem Beit Din canceled a hearing, planned for that day, to be attended by litigant Yoav Laloum and representatives of the Emmanuel parents.
As in each of the many incidents in which mediation floundered, each side blamed the other. The beit din issued an announcement that since Laloum had failed to withdraw his court petition shortly after the arbitration, the beit din’s original decision to unify the separate tracks at the school had been nullified. However, according to Laloum – who, with his Noar Kahalacha NGO, had filed the original petition against segregation in the Beit Ya’acov school – the Slonim Hassidim from Emmanuel refused to accept the arbitration bill, and therefore he would not withdraw the petition.