Security has been increased at the Jerusalem home of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, following the weekend publication of a tape in which an emotionally-disturbed man threatened to murder the spiritual leader of the Sephardic hareidi Shas party. Meir Barness is serving time following an attempt to kill the late Tzfat Rabbi Levi Bistritzki, ten years ago.
Barness is heard on the tape telling a reporter that he will escape and kill the rabbi on the 19th of the Jewish month of Kislev, the 213th anniversary of the release of the first Lubavitcher rebbe from jail on trumped up charges, which he believes will be a day of redemption for the people of Israel. He refers to Rabbi Yosef as the evil inclination who is an obstacle to the process. While Barness professes to be a follower of Lubavitch, the Chabad movement says he was denounced by its rabbis ten years ago.