Supreme Court: State Must Help Return Kidnapped Boy

Two months after the Moslem father of a Jewish boy kidnapped him to Russia and has been raising him as a Moslem, the Supreme Court ruled that the Justice and Foreign Ministries must take action.

, | updated: 09:32

It's been two months now since the Moslem father of a Jewish Israeli boy kidnapped him to Russia and has been raising him as a Moslem - and yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that the Justice and Foreign Ministries must take action.

Justice Miriam Naor accepted the request of the mother, whose name has not been publicized, to obligate the government to take an active role in returning the boy.

As first reported by Ynet last week, the 10-year-old boy immigrated to Israel at the age of 4. This was the last time he saw his father, a Muslim with Syrian citizenship - until two months ago. In August, the boy and his grandmother visited Moldova, from where his father abducted him and now refuses to return him to his mother. The man forces his son to behave like a Muslim, and has threatened to take him to Syria if his mother takes any action on her son's behalf.

With great effort, the mother was able to track down the whereabouts of her missing son to a town in southern Russia, and was even able to speak with him for a few moments. The boy cried and asked her to take him home. When the father saw the two speaking in Hebrew, he separated them and warned that if they ever again speak Hebrew to each other, they would never see each other again. "He told me that they changed his name to an Arabic one and force him to pray five times a day," the mother told Ynet. "This is a Jewish boy, and they're forcing him to act like a Moslem."

She finally filed suit in a Russian court, but she has no legal counsel. "The Israeli government has not helped me, and now all I'm asking is to send me a lawyer," she says. "I can't do it any more by myself." The Muslim father, for his part, is a wealthy man, his former wife said, "who owns four large stores and has several lawyers. I just hope that he won't bribe the judge. He has five other children from his first wife and his present wife, and he told me, 'I have six children, and they will all live with me.'"

Before yesterday's ruling, the mother's Israeli lawyer lamented, "This is a straight-out kidnapping case. A Jewish 10-year-old boy, an Israeli, who spent almost his whole life in Israel and doesn't even know his father, whom he last saw at the age of 4, is suddenly kidnapped, forced to live like a Moslem, detached from his family, country, friends and his whole life - and all the State of Israel can do for him is to collect forms and send them to Russia..."

Yesterday's ruling gives some room for optimism. "The most important thing," the lawyer said, "is to show the Russian court that Israel is actively involved, has opened a legal file, and that this is a diplomatic issue in every sense - and not just a personal matter. With this ruling, it will be harder for the Russian court to ignore our request." Foreign Minister Shalom and Justice Minister Lapid are expected, in accordance with the ruling, to issue statements and responses, and "these could

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