Meir Ettinger’s wife: “We will not hold the brit milah in prison”
Sunday, April 3, 2016, 18:18 On Sunday, April 3, Be’er Sheva District Court Judge Yisrael Pablo Axelrod 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. The Prison Service suggested that the brit milah be held at the prison. Moriya Ettinger, the wife of administrative detainee Meir Ettinger, stated that the family refuses to hold the brit milah at the prison, which the court conditions on the presence of only 15 people who will undergo meticulous searches by the Prison Service before entering the prison. Other members of Ettinger’s family stated that they will refuse to hold the brit milah in prison in a manner in which not all of Ettinger’s siblings and close relatives will be able to participate in the event, and whoever will able to participate will be forced to undergo humiliating searches. “This is not our private matter, but rather the struggle for Jewish identity, for the differentiation between friend and foe, and between Israel and the nations. With G-d’s help, the brit milah will take place at its time, with Meir. I call on everyone to support our struggle,” said Moriya Ettinger. Ettinger also 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 son’s brit milah. Supreme Court Justice Mani Mazuz scheduled a deliberation for 9:00 A.M. tomorrow (Monday) morning at the Supreme Court Building for the urgent appeal filed by Honenu Attorney Adi Kedar on the matter of Meir Ettinger’s participation in his son’s brit milah, which is also expected to take place tomorrow. A panel of three judges will rule on the appeal. Friends of the family were shocked that Justice Mazuz scheduled the deliberation for tomorrow, the day of the brit milah and not today. Family and friends of Meir Ettinger are expected to hold a demonstration at 19:30 this evening (Sunday) at the entrance to Jerusalem in protest of the court’s decision. 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.