'The haredim are selling Israel out to dodge the draft'

Jewish Home MK blasts agreement between Arab MK, haredi lawmakers to block bill banning night-time Muezzin calls to prayer on loudspeakers.

David Rosenberg ,

MK Moti Yogev
MK Moti Yogev
Flash 90

An Israeli lawmaker blasted haredi politicians Tuesday over a deal intended to block passage of a bill barring mosque loudspeakers from being used in the middle of the night to broadcast the traditional call to prayer.

Moti Yogev, a Jewish Home MK who has submitted a bill which would restrict loudspeaker usage by houses of prayer after 11:00 p.m., excoriated haredi lawmakers in a tweet Tuesday afternoon, accusing them of “selling” out their country to secure Arab support for draft deferments for yeshiva students.

“The haredim will sell out the Land of Israel and the Jewish people,” write Yogev. “The haredim will sell out Israeli citizens’ sleep – anything to dodge the draft to the IDF – the Israeli Defense Forces.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Finance Committee Chairman Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism), told Joint List MK and former advisor to Yasser Arafat, Ahmed Tibi, that the two haredi factions would block the so-called “Muezzin Law”.

“The United Torah Judaism party and Shas are against the Muezzin Law,” Gafni said. “It won’t pass.”

“We agreed that this bill won’t progress forward,” continued Gafni.

“After I spoke with MK Tibi, I believe that this bill must not be allowed to move forward…all this bill does is aggravate the [Arab population] without doing anything.”

In recent years, Knesset members have pursued legislation to crack down on the nightly disturbances caused by the Muslim call to prayer, which is blasted five times a day – including the “fajr” prayer before dawn and the late-night “isha” prayer.

The use of mosque loudspeakers to broadcast the calls to prayer have created serious disturbances for non-Muslim neighbors and nearby communities.

MK Yogev, along with MK Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu), drafted the latest version of the Muezzin Law, which would prohibit use of loudspeaker systems in houses of worship after 11:00 p.m. Existing noise laws already prohibit loud noises after 11 p.m., though enforcement is lax in the Arab sector.