Benizri after release
Photo: Noam Moskowitz
Former Shas Minister Shlomo Benizri, who was released from the Maasiyahu Prison Thursday morning, said Israel was the most anti-Semitic country in the world due to what he referred to as its "incitement campaign against the haredi community."
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According to Benizri, ultra-Orthodox are being attacked on a daily basis in the media with "expressions that were used against Jews in the Holocaust."
Benizri served two and a half years of a four-year sentence for conspiracy to commit a crime, accepting bribes, breach of trust, and obstruction of justice.
The Israel Prison Service released Benizri as part of a broader release of 600 prisoners it said is meant to ease prison overcrowding and improve living conditions for inmates.
In an interview with haredi radio station Kol Barama, Benizri said the mental anguish he had suffered for being "wrongfully imprisoned" was greater than that of former Hamas captive Gilad Shalit.
"I understood his pain and frustration – only mine were greater," the former minister said. "His pain is related to terrorists, but my pain is great as well."
During the interview, Benizri also criticized what he called an anti-haredi campaign in the media: "Almost every other item is about haredim, calling them 'parasites.' This term was used against Jews in the Holocaust. They say 'all the money goes to the haredim.'"
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