RABBI DUBI Hayun.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Rabbi Dov Hayun, the Masorti (Conservative) rabbi who was detained by the Haifa Police last month for conducting weddings outside the auspices of the Chief Rabbinate, will be heading the Meretz Party’s electoral list in Haifa’s upcoming municipal elections.
Hayun has run for a seat on the Haifa council before heading the “Equal Haifa” list, but has now united the party with Meretz and will head the joint electoral list.
Neither Equal Haifa nor Meretz took any council seats in the 2013 municipal elections.
Meretz national party chair MK Tamar Zandberg welcomed Hayun’s decision to join the party saying it would strengthen the fight for liberal and pluralist values, which she said are currently under attack.
“The rabbi, who sat in detention because he was not willing to compromise on his values, will now represent us in Haifa’s municipal council,” said Zandberg.
“Cities are an important space in our many struggles for our freedom,” she continued, referencing the recent rejections by Interior Minister Arye Deri of several municipal bylaws to allow greater numbers of businesses to open on Shabbat.
Hayun was detained last month by the Haifa Police at 5:30 in the morning after the Haifa Rabbinical Court filed a complaint with the police saying he had conducted weddings without registering them with the Chief Rabbinate, something prohibited by law and punishable by up to two years in prison.
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The Attorney-General’s Office has, however, halted any police investigation pending its own review of the mater.
The rabbi’s arrest generated outrage from numerous quarters, and led to accusations of religious coercion, since the Haifa Police said that it acted on the orders of the Haifa Rabbinical Court, when in fact, the rabbinical courts have no authority to order the police to open criminal investigations.
Hayun said on Wednesday that he had been happy to accede to Meretz’s request to join forces.
“This connection will create real synergy and will lead to a model of coexistence, pluralism and equality for the place we live in as a diverse Haifa community,” said the rabbi.
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