Bnei Brak mayor apologizes for 'bad joke' train video

Mayor apologizes after municipality hires actor to pretend to keep haredim off of trains to protest light rail routes.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Israeli train (illustration)
Israeli train (illustration)
Flash 90

Bnei Brak Mayor Avraham Rubinstein issued an apology Thursday evening in response to the uproar over a video in which an actor pretended to block haredi passengers from boarding a train from the predominantly-secular city of Bat Yam.

"I am sorry for the way things happened, in particular I am sorry for the damage to the good name of the railway workers and the Transportation Ministry," Rubinstein said.

The video was commissioned by the Bnei Brak municipality through a public relations office, with the aim of protesting the removal of the city from the light rail programs in the Gush Dan region.

The actor stood between the haredi passengers and the train, physically preventing them from boarding, and proclaimed: "Haredim, do not board!"

Another passenger, who didn't happen to be haredi, filmed the "inspector" and urged haredi passengers to ignore his commands. The imposter, in the meantime, shouted at the passenger recording his actions to stop filming.

By the afternoon, it became clear that the man was, in fact, an actor hired by the Bnei Brak municipality to protest the fact that a light rail line planned for the Gush Dan area is not slated to pass through the haredi city.

Before it became apparent that the man in the video was a professional agitator, politicians expressed outrage at the video, while Israel Railways emphasized that the man was not an employee of theirs.

Transportation Minister Miri Regev said earlier: "I was shocked to see the infuriating video from Israel Railways. I ordered an immediate investigation into the case. Such conduct will not take place under my watch. I will update you as soon as the investigation is complete."