Jerusalem: The case has just ended between Mustaffa Nada and his wife of fifteen years Ruth. It is the first case of its kind ever in Israel, or anywhere else for that matter. Plaintiff had brought a criminal case of bodily and emotional harm against his spouse alleging that she refused him his basic human rights including freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of movement.
It transpires that Mustaffa was only allowed to go out once a week to see his friends who had first to be contacted and approved of by Ruth. Otherwise, he was virtually under house arrest.
Working as a freelance artist he was not allowed to paint anything or exhibit anything his wife did not approve of or in a gallery she deemed unsuitable.
His rights were kept to a bare minimum:
He was expected to shower twice a day in summer and once a day in winter.
He was not allowed to use the home toilet in case he wet the lavatory seat but had to visit a nearby restaurant.
He was not allowed to wear any clothes except those chosen by Ruth nor shop for himself nor drink alcohol except on very rare occasions and even then in moderation.
He was allowed a small weekly stipend to keep him on cigarettes that he was obliged to smoke some twenty yards from their home whether or not there was rioting in the street, a frequent occurrence where they lived.
Ruth however, could go wherever she wanted and was rarely home at night leaving her husband to take care of their three children.
She was known to speak ill of her husband calling him "a mouse not a man".
The crunch came for Mustaffa after they attended the wedding of his sister Alimah.
Against his wife's express wishes Mustaffa had made one toast too many to his beloved sister and her groom and had danced until he dropped.
In the car on the way home his wife remonstrated with him about "showing her up" and when Mustaffa made the unfortunate remark that she was a "fascist pig" she promptly braked the car and threw him out onto the dirt road along which they had been travelling.
"It was late at night M'lud," explained Mustaffa, "and that particular road was under surveillance by Israeli troops.
I am lucky to be alive and I honestly believe she was hoping I'd be shot."
"For getting drunk at your sister's wedding?" exclaimed Judge Freeman in disbelief.
"Yessir. I'm afraid I had done the same thing eleven years previously at my brother's wedding. She never quite got over that."
"Why didn't you file for divorce years ago?"
"I love my children."
The judge ruled that his wife Ruth be exiled to Great Britain for the rest of her natural where.
He put it to her:
"You will be in the company of women of your own mindset and have to witness every day the brain-dead wrecks of brutalized males they laughingly refer to as their "hubbies" who have been afflicted for years with the same vile treatment you have meted out to your unfortunate Mustaffa.
"You will have to watch their hang-dog faces every day as they march back and forth to work or go to sleep on trains as they are wont to do or get into pub brawls as they vent their misery on innocent bystanders".
Mustaffa was awarded custody of the children, the house and property, special psychiatric counselling for damaged artists and a yearly supply of choice wines from any three of Israel's finest vineyards.
"I will remind Ruth," said the judge winding up, that she would do well to learn respect for herself and her fellow man.
"Should she decide to return home I will have no choice but to apply the full rigour of the law for such grievous offenses that amazingly include attempted murder.
"In this case, the sentence would be one thousand years in jail, without parole, and with no time off for good behaviour.
"The problem, as I see it, in this country is not between Jew and Arab but between ordinary men and ordinary women the world over.
"Your sojourn in Britain will hopefully bring this home to you.
"Thank your lucky stars I do not send you to one of the Muslim countries where things are quite the reverse.
"I take leave to remind you that it behoves one to allow to others the rights one wishes for oneself for which many people have died in many bloody wars.
"Freedom in a tent is preferable to captivity in a mansion for anybody, male or female, Jew, Arab or Martian! My finding is for the plaintiff Mustaffa Nada and I would like a signed photo of him before he leaves this court so that I can hang it in my chambers to remind me of what can become of any man, any place, any time."