Neeman 'appalled' at Cave of Patriarchs heckling

Justice minister says legal system will continue to "prosecute without bias" after he is accosted over Lior arrest while praying in Hebron.

By RON FRIEDMAN, JONAH MANDEL
June 30, 2011 21:22
1 minute read.
Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman

yaakov neeman 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman on Thursday slammed the right-wing activists who had heckled him over the detainment of Kiryat Arba rabbi Dov Lior earlier in the day.

“The justice minister was appalled at the public blasphemy that took place this morning at the Tomb of the Patriarchs, when the prayer service was interrupted by taunts and heckles by a bunch of people who refused to honor the other prayers' requests to continue praying,” read a statement issued by Neeman's office.

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A small group of men, including right-wing activist Noam Federman, accosted Neeman during morning prayer services at the Hebron holy site, yelled at him to ask the forgiveness of Lior, and said that the minister had “disgraced the Torah.” Neeman left the premises in response.

Neeman’s statement came shortly after the minister refused to respond to reporters’ questions on the incident at a conversion event in Jerusalem, which was also attended by Coalition Chairman MK Zeev Elkin (Likud).

Earlier that day Elkin, who is also one of the heads of the Land of Israel Caucus, visited Lior at the rabbi’s home, according to a Channel 2 report. Elkin had issued a statement protesting Lior’s arrest on Monday.

“This is a stupid, ridiculous investigation the police initiated against the rabbi,” he told the television network on Thursday. “When I was a member of the Zionist movement in the Soviet Union, the regime would also summon people for investigations over nonsense.”


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