Haredi MKs in Knesset
Photo: Knesset Channel
Sa'ar in the Knesset plenum
Photo: Knesset Channel
Rioting in Supreme Court
Photo: Noam Moskowitz

Haredim plan mass protest following Emmanuel ruling

Ultra-Orthodox public seeks police approval for rally in Jerusalem's Yirmiyahu bridge in order to escort to prison parents from Emanuel who refuse to obey High Court ruling and send daughters to school with Sephardic students

"It will be the mother of all protests," Knesset Member Menachem Eliezer Moses (United Torah Judaism) declared Wednesday referring to a haredi demonstration in Jerusalem's Yirmiyahu Bridge scheduled for Thursday.


MK Moses spoke in the Knesset plenum during a debate concerning the uproar caused by the High Court of Justice ruling on racial segregation in an all girls' school in Emmanuel. The ultra-Orthodox MKs stressed they would not uphold verdicts which contradict their rabbis' rulings.


On Tuesday the High Court ruled that Ashkenazi parents who will fail to adhere to a previous ruling and not send their children to the Beit Yaakov school together with the Sephardic students will be jailed for a period of two weeks for contempt of the court.


MK Moses said, "The haredi sector isn't considering caving in. The spirit can not be beaten. We will not pledge anything because of a court's predominance."


The ultra-Orthodox public stressed that the battle was not a racial one, but concerns the religious standards of the Sephardic girls' families. MK Moses compared the expected arrests with Russian Bolshevik methods. "The officers will separate children and babies. There are children less than a month old. They will be torn away from their mothers who will go to jail. That horrifying image is worse than the disengagement," he said.


MK Moshe Gafni added, "We are facing a situation never before seen in the State of Israel – people of a large group going to prison. These pictures will be released all over the world and one  cannot help but think of other countries in other times where haredi Jews with sideburns and beards were put in jail."


The plenum debate became heated when Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz exchanged insults with MK Gafni.


Earlier on Wednesday MK Moses asked Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar to solve the problem immediately. In the plenum Sa'ar responded, "Verdicts are not negotiable, they are not a recommendation."


Escorting parents to jail

Meanwhile, leading haredi figures such as Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism), decided to hold a massive rally in Jerusalem on Thursday and escort the Emmanuel students' parents to the prison gates.


Some 20,000 people are slated to attend the protest, which has yet to receive police approval.


In addition, President Shimon Peres is scheduled to meet Rabbi Porush on Thursday in a previously arranged meeting.


Ynet also learned that the Slonim Hassidic Movement is looking for secular campaigners to explain the haredi view submitting there is no racial discrimination in Emanuel.


Ari Galahar and Shmulik Grossman contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 06.16.10, 16:50
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