Translations by Didi Remez of Coteret.com:
Parents: “We Beat the Supreme Court”Nissan Strauchler and Michal Goldberg • Yedioth Ahronoth (p.10)
After 10 months of refusing to comply with a Supreme Court ruling and after 10 days in jail for contempt of court, Ashkenazi parents in Immanuel said on Sunday that they had agreed to send their daughters to school with Sephardic students—for the last three days of the school year.
At the behest of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the Slonim Rebbe and Rabbi Shmuel Berzovsky, the parents agreed that until the summer holiday begins [on July 1], the Beit Ya’akov school in Immanuel would hold a three day seminar for all students “in order to bring them close to the Torah.”
In addition, the sides will attempt to bridge the conflict and try to come to a mutually acceptable solution by the time school begins again. Slonim Hassids will have the choice to send their daughters to an independent school that does not receive state funding, and is therefore not required to abide by state decisions. Slonim officials have not ruled out the possibility that the girls could return to the Beit Ya’akov school, on condition that the school raise its entrance standards.
The compromise was presented yesterday to the Supreme Court by Mordechai Green, a lawyer representing the parents. Green informed the court that the agreement was reached “to bring about unity and love between all residents of Immanuel.” But when television cameras stopped flashing, Green said “we’ve given up.” State Prosecutor Shosh Shmueli said she believed the parents’ announcement was “in compliance with the court ruling.”
Statements by the two sides satisfied Justices Edmond Levy, Edna Arbel and Hanan Meltzer and they ordered the fathers released and canceled the mothers’ jail sentences. In addition, the justices told the sides they had until August 25 to report back on efforts to bridge the gaps. “This episode was unnecessary,” said Levy. “After all, we are all one people.”
Yoav Lalum, [the Sephardi] who led the legal fight against ethnic discrimination at the school and his lawyers, Aviad Hacohen and Yeshayahu Avraham, announced the “end of discrimination in Immanuel,” adding “the court decision was more than we expected.”
The fathers from Immanuel were brought to court under heavy protection and could not hide their joy when they were told they were headed home. They shook hands with the guards, drank wine and sang and danced.” I feel great, I wouldn’t trade the last ten days for anything. I had a special feeling of responsibility in jail,” said Haim, one of the newly released prisoners. Another said. “The court has been humiliated, as it deserves.”
One aide to the Slonim Rebbe said, “We won. We didn’t sign anything and we’ve acted in accordance with Torah sages—not because the court told us to.
Yossi Deitch, a senior member of the Slonim group who created the compromise agreement with Shas Chairman Eli Yishai, also said he viewed the agreement as a victory over the rule of law. “I am thrilled that the court understood that we recognize only the authority of the Torah sages,” he said.
Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush, who also participated in efforts to reach a compromise, said “the days these fathers sat in jail will be remembered as a landmark for Haredi Judaism in Israel.” MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) said that he also hoped a lesson had been learned. “Every side must do some serious soul searching,” he said. “I hope this compromise really does bring this story to an end, rather than a temporary agreement.”
Victory of the Law of the Torah
By Yisrael Yoskowitz • Ma’ariv (p. 17) (opinion)
The author is a Haredi strategist
There is no doubt, this is a great day for Interior Minister Eli Yishai. The man who suffered most of the fire in the Immanuel affair, from the direction of all the major pundits, proved that without noisy headlines and obsessively running to the television studios, things can and should be done differently.
But more than anything else, this is the great day of Haredi Jewry in the State of Israel, which proved in the end that not only is the law of the Torah the only law that counts, it is also the only one that is capable of solving the most complex and sensitive problems, to the point that the High Court of Justice, whose standing we all wish to preserve, was also compelled to accept the law of the Torah with great love.
I can already envision the various commentators, who are not really familiar with the mood within the observant public, talking about an arm-wrestling battle and a desire to prove who is in charge. As a Haredi, an ultra-Orthodox Jew, I can offer you a friendly recommendation to set aside this pathetic argument. You will not hear anyone today speaking in terms of a victory over the court. You will hear a sigh of relief over the fact that finally people are starting to understand here that this idiotic thought, that with regard to the Haredi public in the State of Israel, Judge Edmond Levy is above Halachic rulings, and above the opinions of rabbis, should not have come into being; and since it has come into being, for the first time in 62 years since the state’s establishment, the answer has been given in the clearest manner possible: The law of the Torah precedes the law of the state. I understand, it is difficult for my friend Ben Caspit to accept this determination, but equally, and even more so, it is difficult for a Haredi Jew to understand how anyone could imagine that there is something that precedes the law of the Torah.
There are public opinion makers who suffer from schizophrenia on matters of religion and state. One proposes to withhold budgets, and another recommends to block them politically. And I say in the simplest manner possible: The rivers of Jewish history are filled with the blood of Jews who were martyred in God’s name.
The Noar Kahalacha NPO has been standing for two and a half years and crying out over ethnic discrimination in Immanuel. This shameful and ongoing legal saga has been waged on live broadcast between the parents of the track that was set up and the NPO of the petitioners in the affair. And here, in one nightly meeting between the aides of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and the aides of the Slonim Rebbe, the court accepts the arrangement that was reached. There was no ethnic discrimination here, but only a strong and uncontrollable desire to intervene in the Haredi’s way of life at all costs.