David, a hasid who arrived in Bnei Brak today from Meron, harshly criticized the conduct of the police, which he claimed led to the disaster in Meron in which 45 people were killed.
"The celebration [at Meron] has been going on for more than a century. It is impossible to say that the very existence of the event is what brought about this disaster," David noted in his opening remarks
"In recent years we see that the police have decided that they are going to put an end to this event. They have decided to harass [those whom attend] the event, to make trouble. They arrived as early as noon, sprayed tear gas, made snake tracks. You could feel in the air that something was going to happen," he claimed.
He said, "It may have been necessary for a physical usher, someone of ours, to technically say 'come-in-do not come in.' When a policeman sees a haredi person he enters a certain frame of mind, where instead of 'yes' or 'no' it is suddenly tear gas. Just as haredi ushers do not come to supervise football events and everyone understands the same thing at the Hilula of the Rashbi, where there shouldn't secular policemen who do not have any idea what is going on or how things should be."
Menachem, a hasid from Tzfat, told of a violent clash he had with police not long before the disaster, and claimed that the police who secured the incident "came here with fire in their eyes."
"My nephews saw policemen standing here a minute before the incident," Menachem added, blaming the police for the disaster "as soon as it became crowded people started to leave. There was nothing out of the ordinary. People shouldn't say 'this is from heaven.' There was murder here. I don't know whether it was malicious or accidental, I do not judge anyone, for that there are the professionals to decide. But we don't understand why the police who were here are not being detained until the end of the proceedings. If I had been involved in an accident in any way, I would have been arrested until the end of the proceedings."