Haredi party wants to turn Israel into Taliban state - Malinovsky

UTJ leader Moshe Gafni accused Yisrael Beytenu of being antisemitic.

UNITED TORAH Judaism leader Moshe Gafni (right) with health minister Yaakov Litzman in party headquarters on election night, in Givat Shmuel on March 2, 2020 (photo credit: ROY ALIMA/ FLASH 90)
UNITED TORAH Judaism leader Moshe Gafni (right) with health minister Yaakov Litzman in party headquarters on election night, in Givat Shmuel on March 2, 2020
(photo credit: ROY ALIMA/ FLASH 90)

A Knesset member in Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu Party enraged haredi (ultra-Orthodox) MKs on Wednesday, when she compared haredim to the Taliban in Afghanistan.

MK Yulia Malinovsky was heckled by United Torah Judaism leaders Moshe Gafni and Ya’acov Litzman as she presented her bill calling for increased punishments for those guilty of destroying property due to gender, including ads on buses featuring women.

“You want to make Israel into a Taliban state,” Malinovsky shouted at Gafni in response to the heckling.

Malinovsky said harming the rights of women was a tactic used by the Taliban to increase its power, and accused the haredim of doing the same in Israel.

Gafni responded that Yisrael Beytenu is antisemitic and [is] focused entirely on harming the haredim. He said Liberman is no longer right-wing and no longer cares about harming the leaders of Hamas, and has an agenda focused entirely on the haredim.

 Gideon Sa'ar (credit:  Rami Zernger) Gideon Sa'ar (credit: Rami Zernger)

The UTJ leader also complained that Gideon Sa’ar did not condemn Malinovsky’s comparison of haredim to the Taliban. He said Sa’ar should have known better, in what was seen as a reference to Sa’ar’s daughter, actress Alona Saar, dating a haredi man, TV personality Melech Zilbershlag.

The bill was advanced in its preliminary reading by a 49 to 33 vote. Most of the women in the Likud absented themselves from the vote.