Shai Nitzan 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A delegation of national religious rabbis met on Wednesday with senior
representatives of the State Attorney’s Office in the Justice Ministry, in the
wake of the tensions between the sides that peaked with the arrest of Rabbi Dov
Lior in the end of June.
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The meeting was hosted by Deputy State
Prosecutor Shai Nitzan, who as head of “special tasks” in the office was behind
the arrests of Lior and other rabbis, who were taken in for questioning over
their rabbinic endorsement of the book Torat Hamelech.
himself is part of the national religious sector, was the target of the Right’s
anger over the arrests but also over the legal actions that are taken against
issues such as contested Jewish construction in the West Bank or settler
activities against Arabs there.
Demonstrations were held outside his
home, and he and his family were subject to verbal threats.
Head of the
Bnei Akiva yeshivot Rabbi Haim Druckman and rabbis Elisha Vishlitzky and Micha
Halevi met with Nitzan, along with deputy state prosecutors Raz Nizri and Shuki
Lamberger, as well as Military Advocate General Maj.-Gen. Avichai Mandelblit, in
what a Justice Ministry announcement described as “an open atmosphere” full of
“Naturally, full understandings were not reached on all
the issues in disagreement, but a principled, extensive and fertile dialogue was
established,” the announcement read.
“It’s a very initial stage of the
process,” said Haim Falk, an Ofra resident and prominent figure in the national
religious sector who was part of the meeting. “Both sides expressed pain and a
lack of trust. From our side, it was toward the conduct of the State Attorney’s
Office toward the settlement movement, and the atmosphere of selective
“From their side,” continued Falk, “there was great anger
over the fact that there is legitimacy- in-silence to turning the State
Attorney’s Office to a group of evil rogues; they expected the rabbis to do what
they could to lower the tensions, and promote understanding.”
was a result of a lesson taught by Rabbi Elisha Vishlitzky, who heads the Mahut
(essence) Beit Midrash, in which he talked about the attitude you take to a
person you do not like, Falk said. At the end of the lesson, a member of the
military prosecutor’s office asked Vishlitzky if he’d be willing to meet with
Falk noted the fact that the attendants had agreed to meet again,
when asked if any concrete resolutions had been reached.
participants noted the special significance of holding the meeting in the days
between the beginning of the month of Av and its ninth day,” said the
announcement, referring to the period of time when, according to tradition, the
Temples were desecrated due to unwarranted hatred between Jews some 2,000 years
ago. The announcement also noted that further such dialogue would continue soon.