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Peres. 'Disconnect religion from politics' Photo: Gadi Kabalo
Peres. 'Disconnect religion from politics' Photo: Gadi Kabalo

Haredi paper blasted over Peres interview

Ultra-Orthodox weekly Bakehila criticized by rival newspaper Yated Ne'eman for 'giving voice to heresy' in interview with president

Moshe Heller
Published: 10.17.12, 07:24 / Israel Jewish Scene

Ultra-Orthodox weekly Bakehila has been criticized harshly by rival newspaper Yated Ne'eman for "giving voice to heresy" in an interview with President Shimon Peres.


Haredi Lithuanian newspaper Yated Ne'eman launched an all-out-war recently against every single media outlet in the sector which does not share its opinions, claiming that free press spoil haredi youth and causes the public to rebel against rabbis and disregard their orders.


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This time it targeted Bakehila weekly for publishing a comprehensive interview with Peres on the eve of Sukkot, in which the president discussed his religious roots and his understanding of the need to separate between men and women in workplaces and battle against the IDF draft of yeshiva students.


But Lithuanian public activists argued that Orthodox Judaism was in no need of reinforcement from non-observant people. In addition, Peres said religion should be disconnected from politics, thus challenging the public activists' control over the sector.


Immediately after the holiday, Yated Ne'eman published an article against the interview on its front page, in which rabbis expressed their "protest and disgust over the voice given to bad thoughts."


Haredi sources estimate that the recent attack on Bakehila is aimed at proving that Yated Ne'eman and the new leader the paper crowned recently, Rabbi Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman, are continuing the conservative approach led by prominent Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, who died earlier this year.


The President's Residence declined comment. Bakehila newspaper was unavailable for comment.



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