Minister of religious affairs vexed by TA centennial book
Shas' Yakov Margi enraged by special edition celebrating metropolitan's 100th birthday, files official grievance with Culture and Sports Minister Livnat. 'Why isn’t there any mention of Jewish events,' he asks. 'Is the filth parade really one of the city's greatest moments?'
Marking Tel Aviv's centennial celebrations, Mayor Ron Huldai on Sunday presented cabinet ministers with a book commemorating the event.
The gesture, however, somewhat backfired, as Minister of Religious Affairs Yakov Margi furiously criticized its connect: "Is the filth parade really one of the city's greatest moments?" he said, referring to the annual gay pride parade featured in the book. "Why isn’t there any mention of Jewish events?"
Margi decided not to settle for the harsh statement made during the cabinet meeting and decided to file a formal complaint with Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat.
"I must protest the fact that a book marking the 100th anniversary of the first Hebrew city is devoid any reference to Jewish identity or values," he wrote.
"This is an outrageous, horrifying distortion… Tel Aviv is the home of a flourishing Jewish tradition and the book given to the ministers in honor of its centennial makes no mention of it.
"Even the book's table of contents is arranges according to the Gregorian calendar," he continued. "I must ask – where is the photo of the city's chief rabbi? If it wasn’t for the fact that the book is in Hebrew, anyone reading it might think it was about London or Paris.
"It is a disgrace that this is how the city is portrayed in the book and it must be rectified immediately."
The City of Tel Aviv offered the following response: "Contrary to Minister Margi's criticism, Tel Aviv embraces everyone. The first Hebrew city is the manifestation of the Zionist vision and celebrating its centennial year is a source of pride and joy to Zionism and Judaism, both in Israel and the Diaspora.
"The centennial events are not meant to take the place of the Jewish holidays, but to offer an original outlook of life in Tel Aviv and Jaffa. The events pay special attention to the Jewish heritage of the city and the opening ceremony included a special prayer service led by Rabbi Israel Meir Lau."