Photo: Yaron Brenner
Meir Amar at the courthouse
Photo: Yaron Brenner
Photo: Avi Cohen
Ayala Amar (Archive photo)
Photo: Avi Cohen

Chief Rabbi's son gets prison sentence

Meir Amar, son of Sephardic Chief Rabbi, ordered to pay NIS 35,000 in compensation, sentenced to almost three years in prison after being convicted of kidnapping, imprisoning his sister’s boyfriend, extortion, threats, abuse

The Tel Aviv District Court on Tuesday sentenced Meir Amar, the son of Chief Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar, to a prison term of two years and eight months.


As part of a plea bargain, Amar was convicted of kidnapping a youth involved in a romantic relationship with his sister Ayala, as well as abuse of a minor, illegal confinement, extortion, threats, and causing bodily harm.


The court also ordered Amar to compensate the youth with NIS 35,000 (about USD 8,000).


His mother, Mazal Amar, pled guilty to distorting a report on the incident, but was not convicted.


The affair began after Ayala, the rabbi's 18-year-old daughter, met a 17-year-old youth through an Internet chat.


The Amar family, however, did not approve of the relationship. Ayala's brother Meir, 31, who left home when he was 13 and has been leading a secular life ever since, tried to convince the couple to end the relationship, but to no avail.


The brother, who has a criminal record, then contacted two acquaintances, brothers Ahmed and Abdullah Sawalma from the Israeli Arab town of Kalansua, and together they planned to kidnap the youth.


On an evening during April 2005, Amar arrived at his parents' house in Jerusalem and asked his sister to come down. He then shoved her into his car and drove toward the religious town of Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv, where he instructed her to call the youth and ask him to come to the car.


When the youth arrived, Amar drove to his acquaintances' house in Kalansua, where he began abusing the youth. His sister was instructed to stay in the car.


Amar kicked the youth, interrogated him regarding his relationship with his sister and slapped him. He later whipped him with a belt, tied him up, cut his yarmulke and his side-locks and continued beating him for hours together with his two friends.


Later, Amar drove back to Jerusalem with his friends, his sister and the youth, and continued beating the youth throughout the drive.


When they arrived at the rabbi's house, the rabbi's wife Mazal opened the door. Amar then threatened his sister with a knife to end her relationship with the youth, and only at 7:30 a.m. he released the youth and ordered him not to return to Jerusalem.


Judge: Behavior of rabbi's wife worrying


In the verdict, the judge also criticized the rabbi's wife, saying that "she had reasonable grounds to believe that the youth was taken against his will."


The judge added that Mazal Amar's behavior was worrying and amazing, and said that she did not do a thing in order to prevent the violence or report the incident.


Referring to Meir Amar, the judge wrote that his level of cruelty and humiliation he toward the boy was difficult to explain.


"The most appalling act was the cutting of the youth's yarmulke and side-locks," the judge said.


The court took Amar's expression of regret into consideration, as well as his willingness to compensate the youth.


At the end of the court session, Mazal Amar said that "life will never be the same again; it will always be divided between before and after."


Meir Amar's brother David said that "the family members have continuously claimed that this was a severe act committed by Meir on his own initiative."


פרסום ראשון: 01.03.06, 11:03
 new comment
This will delete your current comment