Ettinger in court
Ettinger in court Photo: Elishav Har Shalom

A panel of three Supreme Court judges denied on Monday a petition filed by the Honenu legal rights organization to allow administrative detainee Meir Ettinger, who has been held without charge for over seven months, temporary release to attend his firstborn son's brit milah (circumcision).

Justices Noam Sohlberg, Uzi Fogelman and Esther Hayut said that Ettinger posed a security threat, and only agreed to Israel Prison Services’ offer to allow the circumcision ceremony to take place inside the prison with a total of 15 guests, who must all undergo a thorough security check by prison guards prior to entering the facility.

On Sunday, Ettinger’s family had already refused the offer stating they would not succumb to such "humiliation," especially since 15 people would not even include all the immediate family members.

Following the judges’ ruling, one of Ettinger’s brothers erupted in court and exclaimed: "You are trying to re-educate, you Bolsheviks!" Court security guards removed him from the complex.

Attorney Ariel Atari who represented Ettinger in court said in response: "It is the right of a person that his son not begin his life within the walls of the prison. IPS's argument in court that there is not enough time to prepare logistics to release him today is scandalous, given the fact that we applied for an appeal for eight days already. The reality in which an administrative detainee, with no incriminating evidence against him, cannot leave to attend his son’s circumcision, whereas a terrorist convicted of murder would be granted leave - should infuriate every law-abiding citizen."

Honenu's executive director, Shmuel Meidad said in response: “All this secrecy is all an act filled with lies.  

"Only three months ago, the administrative detainee Mordechai Meyer was released after the ISA admitted he sat in jail for no reason for five months on the basis of ‘secret and dangerous evidence.’ Why is it that nobody is held accountable? There are countless of ISA arrests ‘secret evidence’ that end in nothing and it does not stop the ISA not its superiors from continuous unrestrained violence aginst Jews. Why? Just because they look and think differently from them.

"They are now using the same basis of lies in a situation preventing a father from one of the most important and fundamental commandments of circumcising his son. After all this how can they be surprised that people do not trust them."

The Ettinger family has invited the public to attend the Brit Milah which will be held in the “Kahal Chassidim” Hall, 11 HaShla St. Jerusalem, at 2 p.m.