Eli Ben-Shem, chairman of the Yad Labanim organization, which represents families of fallen soldiers, slammed Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Monday for a sermon in which Yosef said troops killed in the Lebanon war lost their lives because of their lack of religious observance.
He called Yosef's remarks "shameful" and said that the comments had provoked angry phone calls to the organization, specifically from religious parents who "were hurt very badly."
He said that a large proportion of the 112 families who lost children in the war were religious and learned in yeshivas.
"It is specifically those religious people who are close to him that have been hurt by the comments. Secular people don't pay much attention to him anyway," said Ben-Shem.