MK Bezalel Smotrich
MK Bezalel SmotrichSraya Diamant/Flash90

MK Bezalel Smotrich, the head of the Religious Zionism party, has criticized the preparations being made for the funeral of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky ztz"l, who passed away late Friday afternoon. As of this writing, the exact hour of the funeral on Sunday has yet to be set, but thousands of people have already begun streaming to Bnei Brak, where the rabbi lived, and up to a million people are expected to arrive over the course of the morning.

"An event of such a proportion should not be managed by Israel Police alone," Smotrich wrote on Twitter. "An operations room should be set up, headed by the Ministers of Public Security and Transportation as well as representatives of the haredi public, and they should be the ones making decisions, setting regulations, and taking responsibility -- and, most importantly, finding solutions to enable the masses of people expected to arrive and participate to do so safely."

According to Smotrich, "It is clear to everyone that heightened caution is in order; on the other hand, going to the other extreme and trying to eliminating all risk and putting unreasonable obstacles in the way of those wishing to participate would be a grave error (and this was in fact one of the elements that contributed to the disaster in Meron). If the event is managed properly, it is certainly possible to enable the vast majority of those who wish to attend to do so safely."

Smotrich warned that if plans are not made with proper attention to all necessary details, police are liable to lose control of the proceedings. "Meanwhile, I am sorry to say, it does not appear that preparations are being made with equal weight given to all the essential factors. Police are only taking safety considerations into account, and if they persist in this unbalanced approach, making it too difficult for people to participate in the funeral, the result, G-d forbid, is likely to be that the police lose control entirely and chaos erupts.

"It's not too late to rectify this," Smotrich stressed. "The Transportation Ministry already has an emergency operations room that is designed to be able to cope with such events (according to the conclusions reached following the inquiry that the Ministry held, when I headed it, after the demonstrations held by Ethiopian immigrants, which severely disrupted transportation). Representatives of the police force and the Transportation Ministry etc. should be there, conducting operations, and Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli should immediately see to this and harness all the resources of the Ministry and the transportation companies toward this effort."

During his life, Rav Kanievsky was very involved with the tzedaka organization Vaad HaRabbanim.Funds are being collected for tzedaka l'ilui nishmat HaRav Chaim Kanievsky HERE.

The last campaign to run during Rav Kanievsky's life was a "Kamia" campaign, where the Rav revived an ancient tradition for the first time in 100 years.