'The boy will not join his Belgian father'

Sources close to Ronit Bitton say that her son will not join his non-Jewish father in Belgium despite a court ruling that he was to do so.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Ronit Bitton
Ronit Bitton
Hezki Ezra

Sources close to Ronit Bitton, who sat in jail for three and a half years for interference with legal proceedings dictating custody of her 17-year-old son to her non-Jewish ex-husband in Belgium, deny claims that the youth will soon join up with his father.

“We’re talking about a 17.5-year-old youth,” the sources said. “He is haredi. It is impossible to force him to go live with his non-Jewish father. Reports to the contrary on this matter is incorrect.”

The Jewish Belgian paper Regards reported that Bitton agreed that the son be given to his father’s custody; in exchange, authorities in Israel agreed not to press charges against Bitton’s accomplices for hiding her son.

According to that report, Bitton “kidnapped” her son from his father in Belgium in 2006, when the boy was seven years old. Belgian and Israeli courts ruled that the father, Vincent Georis, was the sole legal guardian, and that the son needs to be transferred to his guardianship. The mother claimed that she did not know where her son was and, in an interview with Arutz Sheva in 2013, asserted that she hadn’t seen him for five years.

An Israeli court sentenced her to five years imprisonment for interfering with legal proceedings; she began to serve her sentence in 2013.

Last month, she was released from prison. It is unclear whether a third of the sentence was simply deducted or whether some sort of bargain transpired between Bitton and enforcement authorities which enabled her early release. The son, as far as is known, reported to a Jerusalem police station, and took a DNA test that verified his identity.

The father told the Belgian newspaper that he had spoken with his son on the telephone. “I have no words to describe my happiness,” he had said.

Nevertheless, a report by Channel 1 presented Vincent Georis as abusive and conniving. Similarly, former MK Moshe Feiglin wrote of him:

"Vincent gave up, by his own will, the right to be a father, and cruelly prevents Ronit from being a mother. He abused the childhood of his son and sentenced him to a life of suffering, he trampled his honor and negated his freedom and money, by means of a dark and degraded connection with bullies and a trampling of the laws of human decency. But reality can't give cover forever, and we believe that the day will soon come when the legal systems in Israel and Belgium, the prosecution and all those complicit in the terrible crime against the poor, helpless mother and son will pay the price."

Sources close to Bitton said: “Most important is the happiness of the mother and son; he is a Jew who merited growing up with his Jewish mother.”