Rabbis: Cellular internet must be filtered
Religious Zionism leaders - including Rabbis Drukman, Stav and Yehoshua Shapira - call upon public not to connect to internet without filtering service. Ynet learns heads of many educational institutions considering making censored format condition for accepting students
Rabbis and educators in the Religious Zionism movement are calling upon the public not to connect to the internet without a content filter, now even on mobile devices like cellular modems or mobile phones.
"The ease at which one can deteriorate to the edge of the abyss is dangerous," explained one of the rabbis. "Our cultural way of dealing with the issue of internet needs to be at the forefront of our education that we all share."
An agreement was recently reached with Cellcom and Rimon Internet that will allow their internet customers to filter online content through a service offered recently. On the heels of this agreement, two rabbinical notices have been issued that obligate the observant public to choose Cellcom and the filter service.
Among those signed on the notices are prominent rabbis and educators identified with various streams of Religious Zionism, such as Rabbi Haim Drukman, Safed's Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, Head of the Ramat Gan Yeshiva Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira, and Tzohar Chairman Rabbi David Stav.
"We are calling upon the public of all ages absolutely not to surf the internet without a filtering service – not at home, not in the office, not on the laptop, not on the cell phone, and not on the property of the yeshivas and educational institutions and their surroundings," wrote the rabbis.
"In addition, we are turning to the heads of the institutions and organizations not to allow unprotected surfing among their students and employees."
The next step: Filtering students?
Ynet learned that many educational leaders are already considering adopting the practice, widespread in the haredi community, of conditioning students' acceptance into their schools on their surfing on filtered internet only.
The main concern of the rabbis is not on internet desktop computers, which in any case are more controlled, but on portable devices, particularly cell phones, on which access to the internet can be obtained anywhere.
"As people who deal in education and meet the broad public on a daily basis, we are well acquainted with the challenges the world of the internet places before youth and adults – with its advantages and with its great dangers," summarized the rabbis in their letter. "Many individuals and families – young and old, men and women – have been harmed by these dangers, without any need to go into detail."