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      Labor MK Repudiates Anti-Hareidi Campaign

      Labor party secretary Hilik Bar speaks out against ‘Stop Hareidization’ campaign in Jerusalem.
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 8/21/2013, 1:45 AM

      Meretz-Labor campaign poster
      Meretz-Labor campaign poster
      Israel news photo: PR photo

      MK Hilik Bar, general-secretary of the Labor party, is not pleased by the anti-hareidi campaign that the joint Labor-Meretz camp is running in the Jerusalem municipal race.

      Speaking to Arutz Sheva, he clarified that while Labor and Meretz share a party list in the Jerusalem city elections, the campaign is not being run jointly.

      The campaign has included posters saying, “Together, we can stop the hareidization” – a reference to the city’s growing hareidi-religious population.

      “I really don’t like it,” Bar said. “Unfortunately, I wasn’t part of preparing this campaign. I expressed my opinion right away.”

      “I don’t like this campaign, it isn’t healthy, it isn’t just, and it’s not what we need to focus on,” he declared.

      Meretz has to understand that while its platform and the Labor party platform have much in common, in some ways they are different, “even very different,” Bar said, “among other things, when it comes to the approach to the hareidi community.”

      “The ends are just, but we want to live with the hareidi community. We don’t want to be against the hareidi Jews, and so I really don’t like this approach,” he explained.

      He noted that he has not yet talked to Labor party leaders about the campaign. At this point, he said, his opinion does not represent anyone but himself, although he believes that his fellow party members have similar views.

      He expressed hope that stage two of the campaign would differ, and would not include direct criticism of the hareidi-religious community.

      Meretz representatives were quoted as expressing surprise at Bar’s opposition to the campaign.