An activist for the far-left Meretz party was arrested Tuesday, after he was filmed taking phylacteries (tefillin) and rubbing them on his groin in order to provoke religious Jews encouraging passersby to wear tefillin.
The incident occurred Tuesday morning outside of a voting station at a school in the coastal city of Netanya, when a 61-year-old local man and Meretz activist approached a stand set up by members of the Chabad movement.
Rather than wear the tefillin, as the men operating the stand had offered, the suspect rubbed them on his groin, while the volunteers shouted at him to stop.
Shortly afterwards, police arrested the suspect. A police spokesperson said the man is being investigated on suspicion of “offending religious sensibilities.”
“He snatched the tefillin worn on the head from [the volunteers], and you saw where he put it,” Yigal Rubin, an eyewitness, told Israel National News.
“When he took it, I was worried that he was going to throw it on the floor. In the end, he put on his genitals. If that female police officer wouldn’t have been there, I think the crowd would have killed him.”