Haredim petition High Court over Jaffa construction

Anti-establishment Eda Haredit members protest by building site, charge dig is ‘violating human dignity.’

November 7, 2010 02:10
1 minute read.
HAREDIM PROTEST outside in Jaffa

haredi hard hat 311. (photo credit: Dan Morgan)

The Eda Haredit organization has asked the High Court of Justice to halt the construction work on Jaffa’s Andromeda Hill development.

Three members of the ultra- Orthodox group, which recognizes neither the State of Israel nor its legal establishment, on Thursday filed a petition to the court against Interior Minister Eli Yishai (Shas), Religious Services Minister Ya’acov Margi (Shas), the Antiquities Authority, the municipal planning authorities and the companies conducting the construction, demanding the immediate cessation of the work that is “disproportionately violating human dignity, the dignity of the dead and religious sensitivities.”

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The petition comes after a lull in the ongoing demonstrations at the site – where human bones were found – during which police didn’t hesitate to use force to distance haredi protesters, affiliated primarily with the Eda Haredit and Atra Kadisha, a group dedicated to safeguarding ancient Jewish graves.

According to the Kikar Hashabbat website, the petition was supported by head of the Eda Haredit Badatz rabbinic court, Rabbi Tuvia Weiss.

“The state left us no choice; we tried every other avenue to prevent the desecration of the graves, this is the last measure,” Eda Haredit’s strategist, Yoelish Krauss, was quoted as saying.

Last month, the wall surrounding the construction site collapsed, in what was seen by some as a divine intervention in response to their prayers.

The more temporal forms of protest against the dig have also spread to the United States, where members of groups affiliated with the Eda Haredit protested in front of the RFR Holding LLC headquarters in New York in August. RFR had partnered with Israeli company Electra to build the luxury apartments in Jaffa.

Following a haredi consumer- boycott against Electra, which also makes air conditioners, the company announced its withdrawal from the project.

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