Deputy Defense Minister and Bayit Yehudi MK Eli Ben-Dahan visiting the Givati Brigade's Tomer Company in the Shomron.
(photo credit: OFFICE OF DEPUTY MINISTER ELI BEN-DAHAN)
Ultra-Orthodox extremist Moshe Peretz, 35, from Beersheba has been arrested for allegedly threatening Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan for his work promoting haredi enlistment to the IDF and combating the ongoing campaign of incitement against haredi soldiers.
Earlier this month, Peretz reportedly began making threatening phone calls to Ben-Dahan’s home, calling late at night and issuing various warnings and ultimatums against him and his family.
Beersheba police were able to identify him as the caller and he was arrested and brought before the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court on Friday. The judge served Peretz with a restraining order banning him from within half a kilometer of Ben-Dahan for 30 days and forbidding him from contacting the deputy minister in any way – or any other MK, deputy minister or minister, for the same period.
The suspect was also required to post a bond of NIS 13,000.
Ben-Dahan’s office told The Jerusalem Post that he was not deterred by the threats against him, and that he would continue to advance the cause of enlisting haredi youth who do not study in a yeshiva.
“This is a national and social goal of the first order which helps haredi youth integrate into the work force and to general Israeli society,” he said.
He added that many of those against haredi enlistment have stepped up their activities.
As deputy minister, Ben-Dahan has been active in promoting the establishment of a new haredi combat company in the Paratroopers Brigade, which is currently recruiting soldiers until December. The company will accept approximately 80 soldiers, who will begin basic training that month.
Ben-Dahan has also promoted haredi enlistment to the Tomer Company of haredi soldiers in the Givati Brigade, and has been active in prompting greater action against the ongoing incitement campaign by haredi extremists against haredi soldiers and activists promoting haredi enlistment.
In recent years, radical elements within the haredi community have published flyers, posters, public notices and booklets and placed them in public areas denouncing haredi soldiers, portraying them as pigs and in other offensive ways.
Incidents in which haredi soldiers and officials involved in efforts to increase haredi enlistment are verbally abused in haredi neighborhoods are common, while there have been several instances of physical violence directed at them.
Earlier this year, Ben-Dahan convened a joint committee of representatives from the IDF, the State Attorney’s Office, and the Israel Police to discuss how to better deal with the incitement campaign and with complaints of harassment against haredi soldiers and enlistment activists.
Efforts are now being made to trace the source of the money for such activities, while organizations and NGOs associated with the Jerusalem Faction, a radical political grouping suspected of being behind the incitement, are also facing closer scrutiny