Thursday, June 17, 2010

Shas won't join protest against jail for parents

Hassidim in Israel are outraged that 86 parents will go to jail if they insist on removing their daughters from an orthodox school in Emmanuel on the grounds that it does not conform to strict Ashkenazi standards, but the Sephardi orthodox party Shas will not join the protests against their imprisonment, the Jerusalem Post reports:

Attempts to prevent the imprisonment of the 86 parents were under way throughout Wednesday and into the night. Former Shas chairman Aryeh Deri presented the Slonim Hassidim with a proposal under which the girls would return to the school for the remaining two weeks on condition that efforts were launched to open a private school for them for the next school year.

It was unclear whether the hassidim would accept such an offer, and whether the court would accept this compromise as sufficient to cancel the imprisonment order.

Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush will be meeting with President Shimon Peres on Thursday morning and will raise the Emmanuel affair. The meeting was arranged over a week ago, but Porush is expected to ask the president to intervene, which the latter could do, if he were so inclined.

Though haredi politicians have declared that Thursday’s protest will unite the entire haredi street, it isn’t clear how many Shas members or other Sephardi haredim will be at the protests, though their leadership has decried the court ruling.

“I’m shocked by the fact that they [Yoav Lalom and Noar Kahalacha, an NPO] went to court,” Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef told Radio Barama on Wednesday, referring to the original petition against the splitting of the Emmanuel school. “It’s not something that is done.”

Ironically, Yosef’s son, Rabbi Ya’acov Yosef, was the driving force behind Lalom’s petition, which charged that the segregation in the Beit Ya’acov school was on ethnic grounds, a claim the court accepted.

Shas Party Chairman Eli Yishai expressed his shock in the upcoming weekend’s Yom Leyom over the court’s decision to imprison dozens of Torah learners, just because they dared to listen to their rabbis. He linked the ruling to another court decision, from Monday, that deprived kollel students of minimum income-guarantee payments, a further blow to the Torah world.

But neither Ovadia Yosef nor Yishai called on their followers to join the protest, and Religious Services Minister Ya’acov Margi on Wednesday evening explicitly called on Shas members not to demonstrate.

Read article in full

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