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Supreme Court: Meir Ettinger not given furlough to son’s brit milah

Monday, April 4, 2016, 13:02 On Monday, April 4, a matter of hours before the ceremony is scheduled to take place, a panel of three Supreme Court Justices rejected the petition filed by Honenu to allow administrative detainee Meir Ettinger furlough to participate in his firstborn son’s brit milah. Justices Sohlberg, Vogelman and Hayut said that Meir Ettinger poses a danger to the public and agreed only to the suggestion offered by the Israeli Prison Service: to hold the brit milah at the prison, with the participation of 15 people, authorized by the IPS, who would undergo searches by prison guards before entering the prison complex. Ettinger’s relatives announced on Sunday, April 3 that they will not agree to such humiliating conditions and added that the 15-person limit does not allow even all of his closest relatives to attend the ceremony. Attorney Ariel Atari, who represented Ettinger at the deliberation, stated in response to the decision: “It is a man’s right that his son not begin his life within the walls of a prison. The claim made by the Prison Service in court, that there is not enough time to arrange for the logistics of holding the brit today [at a location other than the prison], is scandalous in light of the fact that eight days ago we requested holding the brit today [at a location other than the prison]. The reality in which an administrative detainee, against whom there is no incriminating evidence, is not allowed furlough for his son’s brit, in a place where if he had been convicted of murder he would be allowed furlough, should outrage every law-abiding citizen.” Shmuel (Zangi) Meidad, the director of Honenu, stated that: “All of the ‘confidential material’ is a sham. Approximately three months ago [January 3], administrative detainee Mordechai Meyer was released and the ISA admitted that he had needlessly sat in remand for five months on the basis of ‘confidential material and posing a danger’. [The information which was presented to Defense Minister Ya’alon and the courts was erroneous. See here for further explanation.] Why has no-one been brought to justice for that? There are countless cases of ISA detentions based on ‘confidential material’ which end in nothing and it does not keep the ISA and those in charge of the ISA from continuing their unrestrained violence against Jews. Why? Only because the detainees look and think differently than them. By means of unfounded secret “evidence”, they are currently instituting a situation in which the State of Israel prevents a father from fulfilling the very basic and important mitzva of circumcising his son. After all that, one cannot wonder that people do not have trust in them.” The Ettingers announced that the general public is invited to participate in the brit milah. Public figures and rabbis have already announced that they will participate in the ceremony in order to celebrate with the family and to protest the prohibition of the father to participate in his son’s brit milah. The brit milah will take place today (Monday, April 4) at the “Kahal Hassidim” events hall, 11 HaShela Street, Jerusalem at 14:00. 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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