Rabbi Haim Drukman and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett attend the campaign launch of the right-wing Yamina party, ahead of the general elections, February 12, 2020

Religious Zionist leaders call for protests against government

Former Bennett ally among signatories calling for action against government; right wing, religious factions view cabinet as insufficiently protective of Jewish life and customs in Israel

i24NEWS |
Published: 12.02.21, 16:17
A group of influential Israeli rabbis has called for demonstrations against the government in protest of what they see as its infringement upon Judaism’s relationship with the state.
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  • Following discussions between themselves earlier in the week, the religious leaders released a statement Wednesday urging “the public to unite and protest against the attempt to make the state a state of all its citizens.”
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    Rabbi Haim Drukman and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett attend the campaign launch of the right-wing Yamina party, ahead of the general elections, February 12, 2020
    Rabbi Haim Drukman and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett attend the campaign launch of the right-wing Yamina party, ahead of the general elections, February 12, 2020
    Rabbi Haim Drukman and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett attend the campaign launch of the right-wing Yamina party, ahead of the general elections, February 12, 2020
    (Photo: Flash90)
    The rabbis are angered over government moves to reform religious conversions and kosher certification, as well as indications that it may advance a deal to enable non-segregated prayer at the Western Wall.
    They are affiliated with the national-religious movement which tends to lean rightwards and was represented prominently in factions that sat in the government of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
    “We returned to Eretz Israel because we want a Jewish state and not a state of all its citizens,” the statement said. “Now the government is promoting a series of laws that will endanger the essence of the state and change its identity.”
    Among the signatories were Rabbi Chaim Druckman, the head of the Ohr Etzion Yeshiva, Rabbi Dov Lior, former chief rabbi to the settlements of Hebron and Kiryat Arba, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of Safed, and former parliamentarian Rabbi Eliezer Waldman.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    הרבנות הראשית בירושלים
    הרבנות הראשית בירושלים
    The Chief Rabbinate headquarters in Jerusalem
    (Photo: Roi Zahoury)
    A large right-wing demonstration is scheduled to take place in Tel Aviv next week.
    Druckman and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett were once allies.
    While the prime minister was previously connected to the national religious movement, he burned his bridges to the bloc when he formed Israel’s latest government, dethroning Netanyahu and his allied parties.
    Bennett was subjected to a large degree of criticism following the move, criticism that Israeli authorities indicated may border on incitement.
    Israel’s government previously indicated it intends to reform kosher certification due to the monopoly that is held over the process by the ultra-Orthodox-linked Chief Rabbinate.
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