Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of Shas, met with President Shimon Peres on Thursday. The meeting took place in Rabbi Yosef’s home in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem.
Peres and Rabbi Yosef discussed the problem of poverty in the hareidi-religious sector and ways to make it easier for hareidi-religious men to join the workforce. Peres later discussed the same issue with Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar and Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger.
Earlier in the day Rabbi Yosef met with the families of Jewish security prisoners. The families asked Rabbi Yosef to influence Peres to pardon their loved ones in honor of Independence Day. Activists have increased pressure to release Jewish security prisoners recently, arguing that since hundreds of Palestinian Authority terrorists have been freed as a “good-will gesture,” the government should pardon Jews as well.