Eichler: Fight anti-haredi racism
Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
A former Knesset member who once called seculars "a generation of people who look like beasts and behave like two-legged animals" is to be sworn in again Monday.
Israel Eichner is to return to the Knesset as a replacement for MK Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism), in accordance with a rotation deal between the two.
Eichler told Ynet ahead of his reinstatement about the goals he had set for himself, which include "depriving anti-haredi racism of its legitimacy".
"It is disseminated and funded by outside sources in the US and Europe and causes hatred. We will fight this in any way possible, including the discussed parliamentary investigation. Our battle is for maintaining Jewish culture and making sure Israel's soul is not snuffed out," he said.
The former journalist also spoke about his decision to leave the haredi news for a position in politics. "Contrary the way things used to be, when the Knesset ruled and the media criticized, today it is the opposite, and it is entirely unclear whether I will have a greater effect from here than from where I was," he said.
However, Eichner explained, his rabbi had told him to return to the Knesset. "It is a mission – I was sent, so I am going," he said.
But the opposition against the MK is great and its leaders, the Hiddush organization for religious freedom and equality, published a report Monday listing many instances in which Eichner berated the secular public and the state.
The report, which the organization has sent to MKs, says Eichner has called Israel "an enemy state", "a historical national disaster", "an evil regime" and a "Jewish ghetto". He also said that "all talk of democracy is just lies and hypocrisy".
On relations between the secular and ultra-Orthodox populations he said that "there is no longer any basis for our being one people", the report adds.
Rabbi and attorney Uri Regev, who heads Hiddush, said that "we must protect Eichler's right to derogate all that is sacred to most of the citizens of this state".
"It's a good thing we live in a modern democracy, which allows us to express such extremist views against the state and democracy in public. However, it is important that we recognize the new MK's attitude towards the state, Zionism, and anyone who isn't ultra-Orthodox, and remember the hostile attitude of United Torah Judaism towards the government of which it is a member," Regev said.
But Eichler stood his ground. "Hiddush receives money from outside sources in order to persecute the haredi public and its representatives. This is their job, as they declare, and that is why they persecute us. There is nothing new in this," he said in response.
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