Lod District Judge Ido Druyan-Gamaliel this week threw out the petition of Amiram Ben Uliel—accused of perpetrating the Duma village 2015 Duma arson-murder—because he refused to open his eyes so as not to glance at the women who were present in the courtroom, News 0404 reported Thursday.
Ben Uliel was appealing the Israel Prison Service plan to transfer him in the coming days from the security section of the Sharon prison in central Israel to Eshel Prison, located near Be’er Sheva in the south of the country. Besides the aggravation of his prison conditions, Ben-Uliel’s transfer to a prison in the faraway south constitutes a serious inconvenience to his wife and 5-year-old daughter who visit him in prison every week.
Ben Uliel’s wife, Orian, on Thursday attacked the judge’s decision, claiming he had trampled her husband’s religious rights, since his faith demands that he shut his eyes in a public space that includes women.
Orian described the discourse between the judge and her husband as follows: “At the request of the Judge, Amiram stood up to make his statement, with his hand over his eyes. The judge asked him to lower his hand and look at him. Amiram explained to the judge that he couldn’t do that, because there were women in the courtroom.
“The Judge insisted, so Amiram removed his hand and made his statement with his eyes closed. The judge continued to insist (that he open his eyes) and told Amiram that he was not showing respect to the court. Amiram explained that he was following his faith, and that he (the judge) should not see it as something disrespectful.
Amiram also told him that he (the judge) was the one who did not respect his (Amiram’s) religion and his faith that required him to guard his eyes. But this did not satisfy the judge, who continued to insist and finally made his ruling.”
Honenu Attorney Hai Bar, who represents Ben Uliel, said in response: “Although on the legal level I completely disagree with the decision of the honorable court, and even though there is an expectation of separation between the legal issues and a person’s behavior, I can understand and respect the judge’s desire to express his resentment regarding anything that could be interpreted as the exclusion of women. Nevertheless, all my client was asking was to be allowed to uphold his own religious views. Petitioner did not ask for the women to leave or not be admitted, he only asked to close his own eyes, in order not to transgress according to his worldview.”
Bar asked: “Since the population of Israel is diverse, and among us, for example, there are also women who cover their entire bodies except the eyes, why were they never asked to show their faces in court? In conclusion, as long as my client did not ask for anything having to do with others, and as long as his faith was in question, his faith should have been respected, even if this raised some difficulty.”
It appears Judge Ido Druyan-Gamaliel’s liberalism is so lopsided, it’s a wonder he can walk the street without falling over.