Visiting Ashdod, Minister Liberman speaks out against religious coercion

Defense Minister regrets "unnecessary friction" in the port city of Ashdod, informs the media he will not allow Rabbis who speak against women serving in the IDF in military functions.

January 20, 2018 11:06
1 minute read.
Visiting Ashdod, Minister Liberman speaks out against religious coercion

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman in Ashdod, January 20, 2018. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman attended a demonstration held in the port city of Ashdod against religious coercion on Saturday.

Referring to the Shabbat minimarket law, the minister said that: "I am sorry to say that the minimarket law has far reaching implications."

The Minister rejected the claims that the law is merely rhetorical and pointed to the tensions in Ashdod between residents who wish to maintain a non-religious lifestyle and residents who object to commerce conducted on Shabbat.

"I hope that the trend we are seeing in Ashdod will not spread to other places, we do not want to see a split in Israeli society," he said.

The minister also made comments about the recent unrest regarding women's service in the IDF, pointing out that "women had always been a part of our [tradition of] security, from prophet Deborah to Hannah Szenes."

Liberman added that people who are civil servants, as city rabbis are, should not voice anti-state views.

Liberman said that Rabbis Shlomo Aviner and Shmuel Eliyahi will not be able to take part in future IDF events due to their objection to women serving in the IDF.

Rabbi Eliyahu is the rabbi of Safed and Rabbi Aviner is the rabbi of Beit El in the West Bank.


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