Tel Aviv, June 23: Israel's Supreme Court on Tuesday backed down from an earlier ruling that 22 ultra-Orthodox Jewish mothers must go to jail for disobeying a court order on school integration.
In a fresh decision, seeming meant to avoid a showdown with the voluble and sometimes violent ultra-Orthodox community, the court exempted 13 of the mothers from serving jail time to care for their children.
"These are mothers in special circumstances and they have been allowed to stay at home," a justice official said. Media reports said some of the women were pregnant and others had children with special needs.
The official said the remaining nine mothers received a stay of arrest until their jailed husbands complete a two-week sentence, so there would be one parent at home to care for their young and generally large families.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews staged their largest demonstration in 10 years last week when the fathers, of Ashkenazi -- European -- descent, were jailed for refusing to send their daughters to school with Jewish girls whose families have roots in the Middle East, known as Sephardis.
Around 100,000 angry ultra-Orthodox Jews rallied in Jerusalem on Thursday when the 35 fathers turned themselves in at police headquarters, from where they were taken to prison to serve a two-week sentence for contempt of court.
The issue erupted when the court intervened in a dispute at the ultra-Orthodox school in the Immanuel settlement, where parents from the strictly observant Slonim Hassidic sect of Ashkenazi Jewry refused to let their girls attend classes with girls of Sephardi descent.
The court ordered them to do so and when the parents refused to comply it found them all in contempt of court.
The parents say their stance is not based on racism or ethnicity, but is about differences in religious observance between the Ashkenazi and Sephardi traditions.
"Ashkenazi parents do not want their daughters to study with students who are less observant, who are likely to watch TV or the Internet. They want to protect their children from bad influences," said Meny Schwartz,
the director of an ultra-Orthodox radio station.
View more random threads:
- Super moonstruck
- urdu - express tribune Quaid e Azam kay...
- The message of Peace from the Holy Prophet ,...
- Egypt unrest: Full text of Hosni Mubarak's...
- Modiís disastrous first year !!!
- Who's arming the World?
- The role of Arab in Gaza war
- American Comedian Jon Stewart Blasted US...
- Pakistan-India nuclear arms race unabated...
- [[M]] 90-year-old Ill. Woman Gets High...