Daily Israel Report

Emanuel Mothers: Some Exempt, Some to Jail Later

Supreme Court: Some of the Emanuel mothers will be exempt from going to prison, and the others can wait until their husbands return from jail.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 6/22/2010, 5:03 PM / Last Update: 6/22/2010, 5:09 PM

Flash 90

The Supreme Court has decided: Some of the Emanuel mothers will be exempt from going to prison, and the others can wait until their husbands return from jail.

The Court sentenced some 86 parents of daughters in a Slonim-Hassidic school in Emanuel (northwestern Shomron) to two weeks in prison for their role in the lack of integration of Hassidic/Sephardic/less observant families in one school. The fathers were accompanied to prison by an estimated 100,000 people in a giant rally on Thursday; the mothers appealed the decree.

The ruling was handed down Tuesday afternoon. The Court ruled that some of the mothers – those who are pregnant, with many children – are exempt from prison time. It forbade the publication of the names of people on this list. 

The remainder of the mothers are scheduled to enter prison when their husbands leave, nine days from now. It is expected that they will petition the court for a further stay before that date arrives.

One of the mothers, a woman with 12 children in her fourth month of pregnancy, miscarried late Monday night – apparently as a result of the pressures of the past few weeks.

The Court ruling postponed the prison sentences of two fathers who did not show up last Thursday, for reasons that were not publicized. Instead, the two are to begin their prison time on Sunday, July 4, at 10 AM.

“The decision is a trauma for the children,” said MK Menachem Moses (United Torah Judaism), referring to the close to 300 children in the 43 families. “This ruling is a hardening of the heart of a type I have never seen. The Supreme Court, which boasts of its commitment to human dignity and freedom, once again shows that it has no concern for dignity or for freedom. Throwing women into jail, mothers of small children, because of their religious beliefs? This is a totally out-of-proportion punishment. Where are the women’s organizations? What happened to the Child Welfare Council?”