World Bnei Akiva to Hold Hearing on 'Revenge' Remarks
A leading rabbi from the Bnei Akiva youth movement may be slated for dismissal later this week, after he made controversial remarks calling for the revenge of abducted and murdered Israeli teens Naftali Frenkel (16), Gilad Sha'ar (16), and Eyal Yifrah (19).
"An entire nation and thousands of years of history demand revenge," Perel posted on his Facebook page, shortly after the bodies were found last week. He related the Biblical story of David, who killed 200 Philistines and gave their foreskins to King Saul as the dowry for his daughter Mihal. "The disgrace will be paid for with the blood of the enemy, not with our tears."
Perel retracted his statements Sunday, following a media storm and demands for his resignation.
But the Extended Secretariat of World Bnei Akiva will meet Wednesday to discuss what disciplinary procedures to take against Perel, including the possibility of his dismissal.
Meanwhile, the controversy has spread overseas, with the religious-Zionist youth movement's British branch threatening to break away from the movement if Rabbi Perel was not dismissed.
"On Wednesday, Bnei Akiva UK distanced itself from, and condemned comments made by Rav Noam Perel, Mazkal (General Secretary) of World Bnei Akiva," Ben Dov Salasnik, National Director of Bnei Akiva UK, stated Monday. "On Friday, following discussions and a subsequent vote within the democratically-elected Hanhalla (governing body) of Bnei Akiva UK, it was agreed that Bnei Akiva UK would call upon the governing body of World Bnei Akiva to immediately remove Rav Noam Perel from office. The governing body of World Bnei Akiva was subsequently informed of this decision."
Salasnik added that if Perel remained in office, Bnei Akiva UK "would be forced to re-examine" its relationship with the international organization.