Haredim riot in capital
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Jerusalem police chief: Where are the sane rabbis?

Jerusalem District Police Commander slams rabbis' failure to condemn ultra-Orthodox riots in wake of 'starving mother' affair; 'Someone needs to wake up because eventually people will be hurt,' he says in press briefing

Rabbis have not done enough to contain ultra-Orthodox riots in Jerusalem over the arrest of a mother who allegedly starved her son, a senior police official said Thursday.


"I have not heard an outcry by rabbis or dignitaries calling for an end to the riots," Jerusalem District Police Commander Major General Aharon Franco said. "There is no sane element in the ultra-Orthodox community that has stood up and spoke out against this phenomenon. Someone needs to wake up because eventually people will get hurt."


Franco briefs press (Photo: Gil Yohanan)


In a press briefing, Franco said police officers have been deployed in force in recent weeks because of the haredi protest over the opening of city parking lots on Shabbat. "It started there, and escalated in the past 24 hours to the point of violence against motorists and vandalism."


Police officials are preparing for the possibility of more riots ahead of the weekend, either in connection with the haredi mother's arrest or with the parking dispute.


Addressing the so-called "starving mother" affair, the senior official said police had "decisive evidence" in the case. He added that the Orthodox mother suspected of starving her three-year-old son "could have been released last week on restrictive conditions had the family and her attorney not insisted on objecting to a psychiatric examination."


Franco also said the government was not doing enough to contain the riots, noting that "we are talking about our capital, and not enough had been done on the national level to calm the situation."


פרסום ראשון: 07.16.09, 19:46
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