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Ettinger’s wife turns to Chief Rabbis for assistance

Sunday, April 3, 2016, 15:13 On Sunday, April 3, Moriya Ettinger, the wife of administrative detainee Meir Ettinger, wrote a letter to the Chief Rabbis of Israel, Rabbi David Lau and Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, requesting their assistance in obtaining furlough for her husband to participate in their firstborn son’s brit milah. Earlier the same day the Be’er Sheva District Court rejected a petition filed by Honenu Attorney Sima Kochav and ruled that Ettinger would not be allowed furlough for the brit milah. “Thank G-d my husband, Meir Ettinger, and I merited having our firstborn son, who tomorrow, Monday, will enter the covenant of Avraham Avinu. During the upcoming two months, as it seems now, my husband will not be able to raise his son in our home, but it is not concerning that matter that I turn to you,” she wrote. “My one request is that you do not remain uninvolved, but rather act to allow my husband to be present at our son’s brit milah! It cannot be in the State of the Jews that a father is denied the right to circumcise his son!” On the afternoon of Sunday, April 3 Honenu Attorney Adi Kedar filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of Israel on the decision handed down earlier the same day by the Be’er Sheva District Court which rejected the petition filed by Honenu Attorney Sima Kochav on behalf of administrative detainee Meir Ettinger and ruled that he will not be permitted to participate in his son’s brit milah, which is expected to take place the following day. Judge Axelrod ruled that Ettinger poses a danger to the public. Honenu Attorney Sima Kochav, who is representing Meir Ettinger, said in response to the ruling that, “We are disappointed by the decision. The feeling we get is that the persons responsible for granting the authorization for the furlough did not act with integrity and are persecuting Meir Ettinger. It is important to stress that Ettinger is an administrative detainee and not a criminal prisoner. Dangerous criminal prisoners are allowed furloughs and Meir Ettinger is being held behind bars, without being indicted, only because of his opinions, and not because of any specific danger he poses. Therefore there is no cause to prevent his going on furlough for the brit milah.” Ettinger has been under administrative detention since early August 2015 and has been held in solitary since October 7, 2015. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon signed the order for the administrative detention, which was authorized on September 20, 2015 by the Lod District Court. At the end of the first period of administrative detention, following the recommendation of the Jewish Department of the ISA, Yaalon signed a new four-month order extending the administrative detention. On February 23, 2016 Central District Court Judge Avraham Tal approved the order. Ettinger is being held in solitary in a separate wing and is permitted to speak by telephone to only some of his closest relatives. On January 18 Ettinger went on a 17-day hunger strike in protest of his remand conditions.

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