Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

14 Tammuz 5768 - July 17, 2008 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Meretz Activists Torch Eruv Posts in Kiryat Yovel

By Yechiel Sever

Residents of Jerusalem's Kiryat Yovel neighborhood were infuriated last Friday morning when the posts of the neighborhood eruv were torched by a group of Meretz activists with the backing of the officials on the board of the neighborhood's community administration. The fires also spread to a nearby canyon, leaving dozens of acres scorched. Firefighters spent several hours trying to contain the blaze.

Speaking to Yated Ne'eman reporters, eyewitnesses said, "At 9:00 am we saw a group of secular people who looked like tourists, wearing bucket hats, along with several Romanians standing together and sawing the posts of the internal neighborhood eruv at the corner of Sderot Herzl and Rechov Zangvil. We called the municipal inspector, who arrived at the site with police personnel.

"The group turned out to be Meretz activists, including a councilman representing the party, and the chairman of the community administration, who came to `provide security' for the burning of the posts. The city inspectors and the police halted the removal of the posts following a quarrel that broke out, ordering the group to leave the area."

A short time later neighborhood avreichim learned that the group of instigators had gone to the wadi to take down other eruv posts. The avreichim who went to the site saw a fire starting to spread in the wadi as a vehicle carrying the Romanians fled the scene. They took down the license plate number and called the police, who were again dispatched to the neighborhood.

Several fire trucks also arrived and spent some five hours getting the blaze under control. One phone line was melted by the flames, downing phone lines on Rechov Zangvil. Local residents joined the efforts to extinguish the fire when the flames approached Rechov Zangvil, forcing nearby residents to evacuate their homes. By about 5:30 p.m. firefighters had managed to contain the blaze.

Neighborhood residents filed a police complaint and Jerusalem Police say they are investigating the case.

Deputy Mayor Rabbi Uri Maklev, who received real-time updates, said, "This incident is another instance in a series of deliberate acts of incitement by political figures trying to foment anti-religious provocation in preparation for the elections, especially in these areas. The political figures involved in these actions are known to us, but we won't be deterred and in the final analysis destroying the eruv poles merely strengthens our resolve and unites the residents, as has already been demonstrated in other neighborhoods, while weakening the side of the instigators."

Rabbi Maklev said, "We plan to see to it that the perpetrators of this grave act be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and especially those who receive salaries from the Matnasim [the company that funds community centers] and public bodies, while waging anti-religious wars."


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