UTJ MKs receive threatening letters, white powder

Letters to Maklev, Gafni, say they "will pay a heavy price" if they don't "go back to Brooklyn" and "stop living at our expense."

By JONAH MANDEL
November 22, 2010 03:06
2 minute read.
Death threat to haredi MKs.

haredi death threat 311. (photo credit: courtesy)

United Torah Judaism MKs Moshe Gafni and Uri Maklev received at their Knesset offices on Sunday envelopes containing unidentified white powder and letters rife with anti-Semitic rhetoric warning the haredi representatives to “stop sucking our blood” and leave the country, before the beginning of physical attacks on their community.

In a letter addressed to “the rabbis and yeshiva heads” and bearing at its bottom an ensign of a haredi skull and crossbones, an anonymous and inarticulate writer said, “We, the enlightened residents of the State of Israel, demand that you people of darkness stop living at our expense, learning all day and not working, not serving in the army or reserve duty...get out of our veins!”

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“Stop sucking our blood,” the letter continued. “Grab your packs and Shtreimels, your smelly beards and sideburns, and take off to Brooklyn!!! Consider yourselves warned!!! If you continue extorting budgets at our expense, and at the expense of our students and culture, you will pay a heavy price. We will start fighting you physically, and not just in demonstrations, and you will feel our attacks on your bodies, and on your synagogues...and we will go after you in your cities and neighborhoods.”

The lawmakers passed on the materials to the Knesset officer, who launched an investigation into the source of the letters and the essence of the powder.

Gafni’s media advisor Yerach Tucker linked Sunday’s letters and the recent public outcry against the proposed amendment to the Economic Arrangements Bill that would enable the continued support of married yeshiva students. University students have been carrying out protests against the notion of funding that would provide for Torah scholars – and not them – while supporting a lifestyle of abstention from the workforce.

Haredi leaders and media outlet have been warning against the “incitement” they perceive in the secular media against the ultra-orthodox and their lifestyle.



“It was clear to us that the wild incitement against haredim would lead to such measures, and possibly violence,” Tucker said. “It is a pity that there is no real dialogue in Israeli society, instead of a campaign of hatred and incitement.”


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