Eli Yishai 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Interior Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) on Sunday condemned violence
perpetrated by haredi [ultra-Orthodox] extremists but said that he believes there
is "wild incitement" against all haredim.
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"Everyone knows that
we are talking about a small group within haredi society, but there is
incitement against all of the haredim," Yishai stated in an Army Radio
women and children are being attacked and cursed away from the
cameras," the interior minister contended. "I don't want my words being
interpreted as support for wild and extremist behavior. The legal
authorities must deal with this small, extremist group."
Yishai distanced himself from haredi demonstrators that invoked the Holocaust
in describing the "oppression and "incitement" against them by pinning
yellow stars to their chests in a Saturday night protest in Jerusalem.
"I don't support the use of any symbol from the Holocaust in
demonstrations," he stated.
Approximately 1,500 ultra-Orthodox men gathered at Shabbat Square in the
capital’s Geula neighborhood on Saturday night to protest what they
called the “oppression” and “incitement” of the “secular community”
Dozens of men wore yellow Stars of David on their jackets with the word
“Jude” in the center, and banners bearing slogans such as “Zionists are
not Jews” and “Zionism is racism” were paraded at the rally.
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Defense Minister Ehud Barak strongly condemned Sunday the use of Holocaust symbols in the protest.
prisoner uniforms and 'Jude' badges are shocking and appalling. The use
of yellow stars and little children waving their hands in surrender
crosses a red line that the haredi leadership, which is largely
responsible, must not accept. The haredi leaders must uproot this
forbidden phenomena and ensure that it will not return," Barak said in a
Shas spiritual leader Ovadia
Yosef on Saturday addressed tensions between secular and haredi
communities in Israel, saying in his weekly sermon, "We do not hate the
secular people, but rather love them, we bring them closer."
Yosef spoke out against extremism, stating that "there are haredim
carrying out forbidden acts, that our Torah forbids, they must be
denounced." Jeremy Sharon and Melanie Lidman contributed to this report
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