Shas minister Yitzhak Cohen proposed Thursday to outlaw the Alei Shalechet company that operates Israel's first and only crematorium, which was set on fire Wednesday evening.
Cohen announced that the ministerial Burial Committee, which he chairs, would discuss during its next meeting a bill to outlaw the company and its directors, whom he said were "continuing the heritage of the destroyers of the Jewish people and operating uninterruptedly."
Cohen holds the portfolio of religious affairs inside the Prime Minister's Office.
Alei Shalechet's crematorium was set ablaze Wednesday after a haredi paper revealed its exact location, which has been kept secret until now.
"I shall put a stop to those who are implementing a renewed final solution here. The Jewish people will soon be happy to spread the ideological ashes of these diabolical people outside Israel's territorial water," Cohen stated.
Meretz chairman Yossi Beilin said in response to the minister’s comments,
“Shas’ leadership is pushing Israel toward dark days in which the citizens will not even be permitted to decide what will be done with their bodies.”
Beilin said that in his will he asked to be cremated and called on members of Kadima and Labor “not to support Shas’ religious coercion”.
Meanwhile, Meretz MK Avshalom Vilan urged Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter Thursday to launch an investigation into the arson at the crematorium. MK Vilan has been promoting a bill, which was already approved by the ministerial committee on legislation, to enable using social security allowances to cover cremation costs.
Vilan said that Cohen's statements were "an Iranian-style attempt to curb a bill that has already been approved by the ministerial committee on legislation. We will not have an ayatollah regime here.
"We are talking about a person's basic right over his body, and I intend to continue fighting for this bill," he concluded.