A dog stands on train tracks. .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Not content with offending the LGBT community, Eli Yishai and his Yahad Party have seemingly opened up a new campaign against the progressive Jewish community with an ad vilifying non-Orthodox Jews as desecrators of the holy.
The social media ad features a picture of Yishai with his party’s logo and its slogan, “Loving a Jewish, socially-minded, right-wing Israel,” and a declaration enjoining voters to vote for Yahad. “So that the Western Wall won’t become a [night]club!”
Under the inflammatory declaration, Yahad’s ad pours more scorn on progressive Jews, saying that the now-frozen 2016 Western Wall agreement allocated the Western Wall to “the Reform, mixed prayer, women with tefillin and bar mitzvahs for dogs.”
A practice has arisen among some non-Orthodox Jews to hold a lighthearted ceremony for their dogs mimicking a bar mitzvah ceremony, jokingly called a bark-mitzvah, although it is not especially widespread and some Reform rabbis have in fact criticized it.
In another ad also bearing Yishai’s image and the Yahad Party slogan, the declaration urges voters to vote Yahad “in order to prevent our granddaughter from being married by a lawyer and a priest,” noting that some parties have stated that they will pass legislation to enact civil unions, a lesser form of civil marriage.
The religious political parties are strongly opposed to any form of civil marriage which they say will endorse and lead to interfaith marriages in Israel.
Both ads appear on Yishai’s Facebook page, which a spokesman for the Yahad Party leader confirmed was his official page.
Director of the Reform Movement in Israel, Rabbi Gilad Kariv, said in response that “the lies Eli Yishai is spreading are a disgrace to Sephardi Judaism, which was characterized by moderation and pleasant ways,” adding that Yishai’s political strategy was simply to sow hatred.
“His attempt to gather votes by spreading falsehoods will bring him once again to the political wilderness and not to the Knesset of Israel,” Kariv said. “Yishai’s future on April 10 will be to reveal that there are no customers at his grocery store of hate and that the Israeli public is disgusted by incitement in the name of Judaism.”
Born in Jerusalem to Tunisian immigrants, Yishai was first elected to Knesset in 1996. Yishai at his peak was head of the Shas party and served as Minister of the Interior from 2009 - 2013 among other cabinet positions. In the previous elections, his newly-formed Yachad party failed to cross the threshold.
The Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this article.
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