'I'm pained by anti-haredi rhetoric'

President Reuven Rivlin: 'I chose to act in the words of the prophet Amos: 'He who is wise will remain silent at that time.''

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

President Rivlin
President Rivlin
Credit: Kobi Richter/TPS

President Reuven Rivlin responded on Sunday to the criticism of Shas chairman and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, who claimed that Rivlin hasn't protested the incitement against haredim during the election campaign.

"If people speak against Arabs, the president is the first one to come out against it," Deri said in a speech. "But when they incite against all of Judaism and traditional people in the state of Israel, no one protests against this. All this is done to topple Netanyahu. Everything is permissible to take over the government."

Rivlin responded to Deri on Twitter: "My friend Rabbi Aryeh - anyone who knows me - like you, knows very well how much I'm pained by the incitement against communities in Israel, among them the haredi community, and the harsh discourse we've been dragged into during these elections. There's no one more knowledgeable than you of the activities in the [President's Residence], some of them together with you as a shared base between the haredi community and other communities in Israel."

"At my age, I still remember the days of 'without Herut and without Maki' [a phrase coined by David Ben-Gurion to delegitimize Menachem Begin's right-wing party Herut as equally repellent as the communist party Maki] and I'm pained by what seems to be painful reminders from various sides of the political map to those statements that were offensive to me then and are still offensive to me today. During these days of the month of Elul [days of repentance before Rosh Hashana] and the election period, I chose to act in the words of the prophet Amos: 'He who is wise will remain silent at that time.'"