Education Minister: During the negotiations leading up to the Supreme Court's ruling, officials from his ministry, the haredi school system and the Sefardic petitioners reached an agreement, but the hasidic parents refused to accept it.
The following translations from today's Hebrew Israeli press are from Didi Remez of Coteret.com.
Education Minister’s Defense: The Parents Refused to CompromiseTamar Trabelsi-Hadad • Yedioth Ahronoth (p. 9)
After taking sharp criticism from the public for his silence regarding the affair in Immanuel, Education Minister Gidon Saar tried to defend himself last night. Saar claimed that his ministry had tried to reach an agreement with the pupils’ parents.
This morning, the Education Ministry and the Justice Ministry are expected to notify the High Court of Justice that in their opinion, the mothers of the pupils in Immanuel should not be imprisoned so as not to cause further harm to the children, whose fathers have also been imprisoned. “No one is happy over the sight of his parents going to jail,” Saar said. “It would have been better to reach an arrangement, but in order for that to happen, the parents had to agree, and they refused all compromise.”
The education minister rejected the criticism that he had not acted with due diligence in the affair. “In each stage, we acted appropriately according to a proper governmental approach and proper values,” he said. He stressed that the Education Ministry had removed the divider between the girls in the general class and those in the Hasidic class in the Beit Yaakov school immediately after the High Court of Justice ordered it. Saar said that after the group of girls in the Hasidic division left the school, the Education Ministry did not allow the parents to establish a school of their own. After such a school was opened anyway, the ministry issued a closure injunction and made a complaint to police about the scofflaw parents.
Following the girls’ departure from the Beit Yaakov school’s Hasidic track, those who petitioned against the discrimination turned to the High Court of Justice once again with a request to rule that the girls’ parents were guilty of contempt of court. At the same time, talks took place in an attempt to end the affair with an agreed-upon arrangement. Officials from the Education Ministry, the Haredi school system and the girls’ parents participated in the talks.
Saar noted that during the negotiations, officials from his ministry, the Haredi school system and the petitioners reached an agreement about new bylaws, but the parents refused to accept it. He said that the High Court of Justice’s ruling last week that the parents would be imprisoned if they did not obey the ruling was what had brought the negotiations to an end. “No person is above the law. I would not be willing to cooperate with maneuvers whose purpose is to bypass the ruling or be a partner in showing contempt of court, such as the idea to shorten the school year in Immanuel,” Saar said.
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: Petition High Court of Justice and Lose World to Come
Yehuda Schlesinger • Israel Hayom (p. 5) byRabbi Ovadia Yosef once again attacked his eldest son, Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, who is considered to be the principal patron of the petitioners to the High Court of Justice on behalf of the Sephardic pupils from Immanuel.
After Shas Chairman Eli Yishai last week condemned the decision to petition the secular court, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef honed that message with his weekly sermon, saying, “I wish to tell you what Maimonides said: anyone who turns to courts that rule not in keeping with the rule of the Torah… it is as if he has raised his hand against the law of Moses, as if he has cursed and insulted. He has no part of the World to Come.”