Haredi protest in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: JEREMY SHARON)
The Yisrael Beytenu party is taking aim at the newspaper of an extremist faction within the ultra-Orthodox community in response to recent riots against IDF enlistment for haredi men.
The haredi daily Hapeles was founded in 2012 as the mouthpiece of the radical Jerusalem Faction movement, a breakaway from the mainstream haredi non-hassidic community, and its political party Bnei Torah.
The Jerusalem Faction and its leader Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach have instructed yeshiva students associated with it not to report to IDF enlistment offices when called to do so, rendering them deserters and liable to arrest by the military police. Furthermore, if arrested, yeshiva students have been instructed to protest and block traffic around the country. Last week, such protests created chaos and severe confrontations with the police.
Hapeles published both editorial articles against the enlistment of haredi men as well as the faction’s directive to yeshiva students to protest.
Activists within the Jerusalem Faction are suspected of also conducting a campaign of incitement against haredi men who do enlist in the IDF.
In response, Yisrael Beytenu leader and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has begun targeting the Jerusalem Faction’s institutions, last week threatening to cut off all funding for yeshivot associated with it.
On Wednesday, Yisrael Beytenu MK Oded Forer issued a request to all government ministers to instruct their ministries to halt the placement of any ministerial notices or advertising with Hapeles.
Forer provided several examples of ministries placing advertisements in the newspaper, including notices about rights for dental treatment by the Health Ministry, environmental awareness notices from the Environment Ministry and notices by the Economy Ministry.
“In recent weeks, we have witnessed riots and blocking of traffic by a handful of extremists against IDF enlistment and against those who enlist,” Forer wrote to the ministers.
“These are very severe activities, inciting against the implementation of the conscription law, which harms all layers of Israeli society and haredi society in particular. Incitement against serving soldiers and those who will serve, and pressuring people not to enlist cannot be accepted and cannot pass without a response from the government. Hapeles gives a platform to halachic rulings [that constitute] incitement while giving legitimacy and liberty to incite against serving soldiers.”
Forer insisted that ministries stop placing advertisements and notices in Hapeles, to avoid “the absurd situation in which the Israeli government is paying these rioters and inciters.”