Aryeh Deri with the burnt books
Photo: Nofi Dadush

Last days of campaign wars turn ugly

Final days of election campaign see multiple cases of vandalism at parties' headquarters. Shas' Torah books torched; graffiti lauding Rabin's killer sprayed at Hatnua HQ

With less than 48 hours until ballots across Israel open, the final stretch of the country's short yet stormy election campaign has taken an ugly turn.


Ynet has learned Sunday of multiple incidents of vandalism in various parties' headquarters.


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Political activists at Shas' headquarters in Or Yehuda were shocked to discover that several Torah books kept on the premises were torched overnight by unknown vandals.


"A red line was crossed here in a manner unyet seen before in the haredi public," Uzi Aharon, who heads the local Shas office, told Ynet.


"There are no words to express the horror of knowing that a Jew burnt a holy book. It just breaks your heart."


זהותו של החשוד ידועה למשטרה (צילום:  יעקב כהן, מטה שס) 

Burnt books in Or Yehuda (Photo courtesy of Shas)


Shas leader Aryeh Deri arrived at the vandalized office after learning of the incident to read Psalms with the city's rabbis, who also expressed their shock over the incident.


Rabbi Haim Drukman, who is vying for a Knesset seat as part of Habayit Hayehudi's list, lamented over the incident, saying that the rivalry between his party and Shas must be curbed.


Drukman leveled criticism at Shas' spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef over a comment by Yosef branding the national-religious party as "a party of 'goyim,'" saying that the rabbi has been "gravely misled" about Habayit Hayehudi.  


השלט של בנט, סמוך לעזריאלי

Damaged Bennett billboard in Tel Aviv


"I personally know Habayit Hayehudi's candidates. They are God fearing and Torah loving people, who are sure to follow the Halacha. Is everything legitimate just for the sake of a few more votes?"


Saturday also saw posters of Habayit Hayehudi and its chairman, Naftali Bennett, vandalized.


Bennett accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of heading an "incitement campaign" against the national-religious sector.


Shas' political rivals also suffered vandalism: A campaign gathering held by Rabbi Amnon Yitzchak's tiny party "The Power to Influence" had to be dispersed after unknown suspects threw tear gas into the hall.


מטה התנועה, היום (צילום: עידו ארז)

Graffiti on Hatnua HQ walls (Photo: Ido Erez)


Rabbi MK Haim Amsalem, chairman of the Am Shalem Party, did not fare much better: Party ads have been torn down and some posters bearing his imaged were sprayed with graffiti reading "Death will find him." The party filed a police complaint.


Acts of vandalism also plagued Hatnua headquarters in Tel Aviv: Early Sunday morning, a graffito reading "Yigal Amir was right" was found sprayed on the walls its building, referencing the killer of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.


The party's campaign manager filed a police complaint. Party Chairwoman Tzipi Livni commented on the graffiti, saying: "This literally illustrates this struggle. I didn't vote for Rabin but he was still my prime minister – and no one will assassinate our democracy and our Zionist dream."


Moran Azulay contributed to this report



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פרסום ראשון: 01.20.13, 13:28
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