After Lior, Yosef arrests, Peres calls for end to extremism

President meets with Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar in order to find a way to calm tempers, find reasonable solution to controversy.

Peres, Sephardi Rabbi Amar_311 (photo credit: Yosef Avi Yair Angel)
Peres, Sephardi Rabbi Amar_311
(photo credit: Yosef Avi Yair Angel)
President Shimon Peres and Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar issued a call to the public on Wednesday to desist from all forms of extremism and incitement.
Against the backdrop of the raging controversy and unrest surrounding the apprehension and interrogation of Rabbis Dov Lior and Yaakov Yosef on suspicion of incitement, Peres on Wednesday invited Amar to Beit Hanassi to see if they could find a way to calm hot tempers and create a more moderate and reasonable atmosphere.
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“We appeal to the public to distance themselves from anything extreme that can corrupt truth,” Amar said. “According to Maimonides, the appropriate path is the middle one, which is the golden path. Today, more than ever, rabbis as well other leaders must be careful what they say so that enthusiastic young people will not be influenced to do something extreme and dangerous.”
Peres emphasized that the rule of law is the basis of our existence and everyone is equal before the law.“The rabbis have a great responsibility to protect these principles,” Peres said.
Amar thanked Peres for his efforts to prevent the situation regarding the police questioning Lior and the ensuing demonstrations from deteriorating any further.
The chief rabbi also informed the president that some months ago he approached both the authorities and the rabbis involved and offered the use of his office as a place where any clarification or interview could take place. This would have allowed the authorities to conduct their clarification with the rabbis, preserve the dignity of the rabbis and prevent the situation that occurred – a public conflict between the rabbis and the authorities.
Even though the authorities agreed to this arrangement, the meeting never materialized, Amar said.
Peres stressed the importance of the rule of law in a democracy and said that spiritual leaders have a special responsibility to imbue this principle in their followers, and to desist from incitement or any xenophobic actions which run contrary to the ethics of the State of Israel.
Jonah Mandel contributed to this report