Left-wing MKs rail over 'rabbis who incite'

State Control Committee considers how to deal with incitement from rabbis. Former Shin Bet head: authorities have failed.

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Hezki Baruch,

Yaakov Perry
Yaakov Perry
Flash 90
The State Control Committee met today (Tuesday) in order to discuss how to deal with rabbis who incite to violence.

At the beginning of the discussion, Committee head MK Karin Elharar (Yesh Atid) denounced the incitement from the Left against Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home), saying that it "creates an atmosphere suggesting the country's laws don't touch on incitement. There is a red line for every opinion, and certainly when such incitement creates violent terrorists. It's very serious that the State of Israel has recognized 'Torat Hamelech' and decided that it does not need intervention.

"The Justice Ministry must produce deterrence against incitement, by summoning people for interrogation and filing charges, and the Ministries of Education and Welfare are currently unable to handle dropouts," MK Elharar added, even calling for action against government-appointed rabbis who act against the state.

According to MK Yaakov Perry (Yesh Atid), "State authorities have completely failed when it comes to incitement. The Israel Security Agency [ISA, also known as the Shabak or Shin Bet], Israel Police, and the Justice Ministry couldn't do it. They may have even been afraid to settle accounts with rabbis who supported the Jewish underground in the 80s."

Fellow Yesh Atid MK Ofer Shelah continued with Peri's argument: "The state gave up - years ago - its requirement to uphold its dignity, its laws, and its responsibility."

MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) said, "There is selective enforcement towards the Left, despite it being persecuted and suffering verbal abuse and incitement." Yael German (Yesh Atid) agreed with MK Zandberg: "There is a direct line between incitement against homosexuals, Arabs, and the left," noting the absence of a law against hate crimes.

Rabbi Gilad Kariv, the executive director of the Reform Movement in Israel, claimed that the focus should not be on extreme cases, but rather the worrying existence of a racist and verbally-abusive revolution in the public's norms. Even Rabbi Rafi Feuerstein, from the organization Tzohar, told about a joint prayer that was held with Sheikh Nimer Darwish for the health of the Dawabshe family, and warned that "confrontation is not the way of the law, but rather education and values."

Amit Merari, a representative from the Justice Ministry, claimed that her coworkers are working hard against incitement and protested against the claim of selective enforcement against the Left. In addition, Omri Cohen, from the special tasks department in the State Attorney, explained that most of the cases are not included in the criminal and legal definition of incitement. 

Moran Tziper, from the Tag Meir movement, protested against the "ideological foundation that has grown in recent years and permits incitement and murder - compared with the law enforcement agencies' deafening silence. Finally, Ilan Shemesh, an Education Ministry employee who works with school dropouts, spoke of the high rates of haredi students leaving school, in comparison to students from National Religious schools. He explained that the Ministry is very active, particularly with regard to these groups. In Judea and Samaria alone, it handles about 250 such youths, who come from all across the country.








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