Celebrators outside prison
Photo: Guy Asayag
Thousands welcome Emmanuel fathers
Supporters gather in Bnei Brak to cheer fathers released from prison after accepting compromise

More than 1,000 people gathered at the entrance to Bnei Brak to welcome 34 fathers from Emmanuel who were recently released from Maasiyahu Prison.


The fathers were imprisoned for 10 days for refusing to obey a High Court ruling, which ordered a girls' school in Emmanuel to cancel its separatist policies. They were released after agreeing to a compromise, and traveled immediately to Bnei Brak.


Supporters gathered at the entrance to Shaarei Eliyahu yeshiva, where the fathers received a blessing from the Head of the Shaarei Eliyahu Yeshiva, Yehuda Levkovitch who said, "There was no reason to compromise. One should not compromise on education over funding."


The fathers then marched through the city.


A speaker system blared: "We are all with the residents of Emmanuel, and will not violate God's word. The court in Israel conspires against the God-fearing public, belittles its values, abuses its children, and revokes its rights."


Following their release Yoav Laloum, who petitioned the court against the discrimination at the school, told Ynet, "We achieved our goal long ago. But only now did they agree to send the girls back to school, which was our only demand, but in practice, the verdict spoke for itself long ago. This is a victory for us."


Commenting on the prior compromise attempt, Laloum said, "We proposed that same compromise months ago. They are the ones who climbed up trees and now they are falling from them."


According to the compromise agreed upon by the court and the parents, the girls are to continue attending the now non-separatist school for the last three days of the school year.


During this time the school will hold special assemblies for the students "to encourage unity and love of Israel". Afterwards, the sides are to reach a settlement.


Justice Edmond Levy said the judges were satisfied that the court order had been carried out in full and that the parents had obeyed its ruling. "Most important is this statement – which goes without saying in a democratic state – and I have been asking myself if it is indeed understood here," he said.


פרסום ראשון: 06.27.10, 18:35
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