Haifa Dep. Mayor under fire for saying 'haredim rape kids'

Yisrael Beytenu city councilman blasted for calling haredim 'zombies', accusing haredim of 'raping children'.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,


A senior city official from Haifa faces calls for his resignation after making disparaging comments about haredi Jews.

Lazar Kaplon, a city councilman and Deputy Mayor in Haifa who is part of Yisrael Beytenu’s ‘Haifa Beytenu’ list for the city council, is under fire this week over comments he made on a Russian-language online forum accusing haredi Jews of “raping” children.

According to a report by Makor Rishon, Kaplon excoriated religious Jews – in particular, haredim – on the forum, accusing them of “raping minors” and warning that they must be kept out of the government.

“90 percent of seculars serve in the army,” Kaplon wrote, “while the religious feast, drink, and rape minors, with God’s approval.”

Kaplon also went on to call haredi Jews “zombies”.

“Don’t confuse believers with the fanatical zombies. No one questions the right of anyone to believe.”

Yisrael Beytenu, Kaplon vowed, would not permit “zealots to rule this country.”

Attached to his comments was a Yisrael Beytenu campaign ad which accused “one million Orthodox” Jews of living off the Israeli public.

Kaplon refused to comment on the report, while Yisrael Beytenu called Kaplon’s comments obscene, though it added that they had been taken out of context.

“Kaplon’s comment was in response to a post telling [Yisrael Beytenu] voters to go back to Russia; he wrote it without the knowledge or direction of the party. While his words were taken out of context, they are obscene. We have sent our response to Mr. Kaplon accordingly.”

In response to the report, the Association of Community Rabbis demanded Kaplon resign or be removed from his position, Channel 13 reported.

Later, Kaplun wrote a response published on Facebook Tuesday, claiming his comments were mistranslated.

“The things which were supposedly published in my name were said in the Russian language in response to an insult made against me, and were mistranslated while being taken out of context so as to create a bad interpretation, and I am sorry about that.”

“In my position, I’ve helped many in the religious community, and certainly the comments are far from my worldview. I had no intention of hurting this or any other community, and I ask for forgiveness from anyone those who see themselves as being hurt by it.”