Bnei Brak municipality slammed following 'joke' gone wrong

Viewers became furious after learning individual behind anti-haredi train vid was none other than an employee of the city.

Yehonatan Gottlieb ,

Train station
Train station
Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90

The internet is abuzz after readers learned the individual behind the anti-haredi train video was none other than an employee of the city trying to get a message across.

In an apparent attempt to protest a new light rail plan, Bnei Brak media strategist, Ronen Tzur, had the municipality hire an actor to pretend to block haredi passengers from boarding a train from the predominantly-secular city of Bat Yam.

The man stood between the haredi passengers and the train, physically preventing them from boarding, and proclaimed: "Haredim, do not board!"

Another passenger, who didn't happen to be haredi, filmed the "inspector" and urged haredi passengers to ignore his commands. The imposter, in the meantime, shouted at the passenger recording his actions to stop filming.

By the afternoon, it became clear that the man was, in fact, an actor hired by the Bnei Brak municipality to protest the fact that a light rail line planned for the Gush Dan area is not slated to pass through the haredi city.

Before it became apparent that the man in the video was a professional agitator, politicians expressed outrage at the video, while Israel Railways emphasized that the man was not an employee of theirs.

Transport Minister Miri Regev said, "I was shocked to see the infuriating video from Israel Railways. I ordered an immediate investigation into the case. Such conduct will not take place under my watch. I will update you as soon as the investigation is complete."

Israel Railways said in response, "In the last few minutes, a video was released in which a man with a yellow vest is seen standing on the platform of a train station, engaging in a hurtful exchange with passengers. It should be clarified that the man is impersonating an employee and is not employed by Israel Railways or companies working alongside with it."

"The man was removed from the platform by the train crews immediately. The Railways will file a complaint with police and consider further legal action against him," it added.

Radio personality Menachem Tucker commented following revelation of the attempted provocation: "If the report is true, the mayor should resign in the nearest future."

Journalist Dov Eichler tweeted: "The Bnei Brak municipality commissioned the video that was published this morning in which an 'inspector" can be seen preventing haredim from boarding a train. Mr. Mayor, city council members, all those who took part in the provocation: You are human scum not deserving of your posts for another second."

Yishai Cohen of Kikkar Hashabbat was also furious with the incident. "I do not understand why these days there is so much hatred, and we're talking about a haredi city here," he wrote. "Shame! A bad mistake that someone ought to pay for."

Former MK and political activist Dr. Michael Ben-Ari attacked the strategic advisor apparently responsibly for the mishap. "Ronen Tzur - serial blunderer" he wrote.



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