Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight


A Window into the Charedi World | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly







Manof to Attorney General: Curb Am Chofshi's Verbal Violence Against Chareidi Public

by B. Kahn

"The verbal violence currently directed at the chareidim is unprecedented in scope and in venom. The material circulated by the Am Chofshi organization in postcards and ads in the newspapers, is far more gruesome than anything we have known until now, with the clear intention to divert public sentiment against the chareidim and to delegitimize that sector of Israeli society," writes Rabbi Danny Nasi, director of Manof, the Chareidi Information Center. These are excerpts from a letter sent by Rabbi Nasi sent to the Attorney General, Eliakim Rubinstein, in the wake of Am Chofshi's antisemitic campaign against the chareidi public.

Recently, Am Chofshi circulated postcards and ads which said: "This year, 22 soldiers were killed in Lebanon and not one chareidi draft dodger was killed in the tents of Torah. You fight for us, and now we'll fight for you. Separate religion from money." On the reverse side of the postcard was a picture of two soldiers gazing at a military cemetery.

Another of Am Chofshi's propaganda postcards reads: "More than 3000 elderly people in Israel are waiting for beds in nursing homes, and there aren't any. But this year, again, fictitious chareidi organizations will steal tens of millions of shekels from the public coffers."

Manof has demanded that the Attorney General launch a criminal investigation against Am Chofshi and its heads, since the circulation of such material violates laws forbidding incitement. In his letter to the Attorney General, Rabbi Nasi writes that "the chareidi public has become increasingly aware of the establishment's intention to legitimize the efforts to cause us to be despised, and to serve as punching bags and the butt of jeers reminiscent of the grimmest periods in Jewish history. This trend is particularly manifest against the background of the forthcoming elections, during which anti-chareidi propaganda will presumably serve as a springboard for the political advancement of public figures and parties."

Manof also turned to the Prime Minister and the President, demanding that they publicly denounce the antisemitic actions of Am Chofshi.

Interior Minster, Eli Suissa (Shas) said: "We are not speaking about the Am Chofshi ("free nation") organization but about the Free Blood organization. It is true that 22 soldiers were killed in Lebanon. But the head of Am Chofshi didn't serve in the IDF, either. The call to separate religion from money is reminiscent of gruesome antisemitic campaigns which referred to Jews as Shylocks."


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