Bayit Yehudi to Shas: Apologize!

MK Uri Ariel, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu demand apology for Rabbi Ovadia's "goyim" remark.

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Gil Ronen,

Ketzaleh with Rabbi Eliyahu
Ketzaleh with Rabbi Eliyahu
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Leaders of the religious Zionist stream are adamant in their demand that the hareidi Sephardic Shas party apologize for hurtful remarks made by Shas's spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, during the election campaign.

Rabbi Ovadia said that the Bayit Yehudi – or "Jewish Home" – is not a home of Jews but a home of "goyim," or gentiles. "Whoever votes for them commits heresy against the Torah," he said.

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, Rabbi of Tzfat, told Galei Yisrael Radio Tuesday, "I have a problem with Shas. I have a problem with the statements made before the elections. I really feel hurt. We will not move one foot unless one of them finds the opportunity to apologize. One cannot talk about any kind of brotherly love and unity of a single bloc, when these are the words."

Bayit Yehudi's coalition talk team head, MK Uri Ariel, told Arutz Sheva Monday, "I told the heads of Shas that they have to find a way to apologize before the public and before our rabbis."

MK Ariel said that the statements made by Shas leaders before the elections were not only directed against Bayit Yehudi's politicians but against the Zionist rabbis and the entire religious Zionist stream.

MK Ariel said that when Shas representatives told him that a formula for an apology will be found, he explained to them that the problem runs deeper. "They need to understand that they cannot talk that way and expect a true partnership afterward. If they think that of us, why do they sit with us? They said that they would look for the way. I hope they find it."