Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Charedi World

24 Shevat 5759 - Feb. 10, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly







Protecting the Honor of Torah- Observant Jews

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

The secretary general of Degel HaTorah, Rabbi Moshe Gafni, has written to Prime Minster Binyamin Netanyahu, detailing at length the current incitement campaigns being waged against the religious and Torah-observant communities, by politicians, and, primarily, by the judicial system.

At the outset Rabbi Gafni relates to the odious verbal attacks made by Beer Sheva Magistrate Oded Alyagon "who once again attacked various sectors of the population with a vulgar comparison of these groups to lice, parasites, etc. This follows a previous incident in which this same judge unleashed his tongue against various sectors of Israeli society."

Rabbi Gafni detailed how the "demands of many members of the Knesset Law Committee, as well as those of the public at large, that Alyagon be dismissed have met up with the impenetrable walls of the Justice Minister and the President of the Supreme Court."

"The current incitement campaign, conducted by opposition leader MK Ehud Barak, Centrist party leader Roni Milo, and led by what I consider the criminal anti-religious Am Chofshi organization has resulted in violence against the religious and chareidi communities," Rabbi Gafni said.

"Nonetheless, the State Prosecution reply to a complaint I filed against them was: 'Israel is a democratic country which bears the banner of freedom of speech. Therefore the State Prosecution follows a policy of restraint in all that pertains to bringing to court those accused of offenses which erode this freedom.'"

"During recent years, all of the various courts and chiefly the Supreme Court, have interfered in an intolerable manner, in issues which are not judicial, but are directly related to matters of conscience, ideology, Judaism, and the question of the state and religion, even though the Supreme Court has clearly one-sided views on the issues of conversion, Shabbos, yeshiva students, religious councils, and legitimizing all the abominations which are diametrically opposed to the Torah viewpoint."

"The religious and chareidi communities in Israel feel an atmosphere of strangulation and powerlessness in the face of this dictatorial, un-elected system, whose positions are known in advance. These communities feel that the delicate balance which prevailed for fifty years is collapsing, and that the State of Israel, which is supposed to be a Jewish and democratic state, is becoming undemocratic, and mainly, un-Jewish, something which, absurdly, is contrary to the wishes of the majority of the Jewish residents of the country."

Rabbi Gafni noted that there is no doubt that the basic stances of those who oppose the position of the chareidi community, stem, in their essence, from the age-old hatred of "the ignorant for the learned."

"However, the prime force in the organizing of an orderly, pre-arranged incitement campaign, backed by ther media and the judiciary, stems from our support of your candidacy for prime minster, and especially from our clear cut position, which tipped the scales in your favor."

"In addition to not honoring your agreement with UTJ, you haven't done a thing to prevent the media and judicial autocracy which is interested in getting rid of you, contrary to the wishes of the majority of the people and which batters the religious and chareidi public mercilessly, as if hinting to us if you don't interfere in determining who will be prime minister, we'll leave you alone. "Not only has nothing been done, but the opposite is true, members of your government and many members of your party led by the Minister of Justice give full backing on these issues to the courts, and they seek to introduce basic laws, with the purpose of augmenting the power of the Supreme Court, whose positions as we have said, on Jewish issues are well known."

In conclusion Rabbi Gafni wrote "It is very important to ascertain your position on this crucial issue," especially now that we must present true information to the gedolei haTorah who instruct us how to conduct ourselves at all times, and especially before we go to the polls."

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