Liberman: Sane rabbinate or Inquisition?

Yisrael Beiteinu leader slams genetic testing of immigrants from Russia, calls for state bodies to be removed from haredi control.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Avigdor Liberman
Avigdor Liberman
Hadas Parush/Flash90

Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Liberman intensified his criticism of the haredi leadership, calling the actions of the Chief Rabbinate an "Inquisition."

During a conference on religion and state held at Bar-Ilan University on Sunday, Liberman attacked the Chief Rabbinate. "We have reached the point where in the 21st century, only immigrants from the former Soviet Union, and not those who immigrate from any other country, are required to undergo genetic testing - DNA tests in order to prove Judaism - this is absolute madness. As far as I'm concerned, the Chief Rabbinate has gone through a difficult process of hostile takeover by the haredim."

He compared the genetic tests for immigrants from the Former Soviet Union to the Inquisition. "It (the Chief Rabbinate) has ceased to be a state body. Even its kashrut is not accepted, with everyone asking for Badatz and Beit Yosef. No one accepts the kashrut of the body itself. There is a hostile takeover by haredi groups in Israeli society of institutions that were once state-owned. That was the story of genetic testing. For me, the Chief Rabbinate must decide: Either it is a state body, or it is an inquisition, there is no other comparison. This is racist, humiliating and tramples human dignity."

"There is discrimination here, structured discrimination, which is part of the entire haredi system, which includes the Interior Ministry," he said. "I look at everything that is happening with the Interior Ministry, for example, about children who come to Israel and try to reunite with their parents and are thrown across the border, or the attitude toward the tourists who are trying to visit here and the humiliation they are going through here."

"The Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the rabbinate - all in the hands of the haredim. the Interior Ministry must move from the hands of Shas to the Zionist parties. I think that even in the case of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, it must not be in the hands of the haredim. Surely this combination is deadly. But first comes the Interior Ministry. We intend to fight for it and not leave it in the hands of the haredim."