Daily Israel Report

Internal Security 'Investigate Celebration of Sharon Death'

Yeshiva twice destroyed by Sharon scrutinized after quote posted hinting Sharon was 'apostate informer'. Arab celebrations ignored.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 1/12/2014, 1:18 PM

Yitzhak Aharonovich
Yitzhak Aharonovich
Flash 90

Interior Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich ordered the police on Sunday to open an investigation over the publishing of notices calling for celebration over the death of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

While Palestinian leaders openly celebrated Sharon's death, calling him a criminal, and Arabs passed out candies to celebrate the former prime minister's passing, Aharonovich's reproach was reserved for Jews only.

Reports Sunday morning indicated that notices reading "warm congratulations to Ariel Sharon on his death" were posted at the Torat Chaim Yeshiva in Yad Binyamin near the coast, just east of Ashdod.

The Yeshiva had been destroyed by Sharon twice, first in his expulsion of Jews from Yamit in the Sinai, and later in 2005 during the "Disengagement" when it was uprooted from Neve Dekalim in Gush Katif. Sharon's legacy of destruction has elicited criticism from nationalist leaders.

The notice in question quoted from the 12th century CE Jewish sage Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon's (Rambam) writing on apostates and informers, hinting that Sharon fit in this category.

"We don't mourn for the apostates and informers, but rather their brothers and kinsmen wear white and wrap in white, eating, drinking and celebrating," wrote Rambam.

Rabbis of the yeshiva were not involved in the posted notice, and upon learning of it had it removed.

Nevertheless, Aharonovich ripped into the incident, calling it "contemptuous management. I don't intend to pass over it to the daily agenda. I see great seriousness in criminal activity like this, and I asked police officials to deal with the issue quickly and professionally."

Aharonovich's professionalism has been questioned in the past.

In 2011, residents of Samaria held a nighttime protest in front of Aharonovich's house, demonstrating against police brutality against residents of Judea and Samaria under his orders in early morning and violent raids. He also admitted previously that the use of tasers against Boaz Albert "looks bad."

Aharonovich was accused last year of submitting to the Waqf (the Islamic trust) in forbidding Jews, including MKs, from ascending to the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism.