JERUSALEM (VINnews) — In a Knesset speech Monday, MK Yisrael Eichler (UTJ) sharply criticized the way in which the state of Israel is treating Chareidim during the coronavirus.
Eichler said that “obviously everyone must abide by the regulations and it is wrong to violate them but at the present time we are witness to an unprecedented persecution campaign against the Chareidi public in the name of protection from the coronavirus. There is “selective protection” enforced against the Chareidi sector. They made an unnecessary closure in Elad at a time when there are many other places with higher rates of infection. The same occurred in Tiberias and in the past in Beit Shemesh, Bnei Brak and Jerusalem neighborhoods. There is a feeling that they are abusing those who are known pejoratively as “dossim.”
“When I went around Jerusalem, my beloved city, during the closure, I felt like I was in occupied territory. We will continue to shout this until it reaches the right ears: These closures don’t help a bit and don’t cure the pandemic but they do turn the Chareidi community into the coronavirus punching bag. They talk health but then they spread panic from the ‘Chareidi virus’.
“If you want to know how incitement from the selective closures works, I will show you testimonies we are receiving the whole time of Chareidim receiving fines for not wearing a mask and at the same time and place there are others who don’t get fined. There are even testimonies that in Tel Aviv there are no inspectors while in Chareidi neighborhoods there is massive enforcement.
“Life saving overrides the entire Torah and one must strictly comply with regulations. However if a Jew leaves his house for a moment and didn’t yet put on his mask, policemen should warn him and give out masks just like they do in other areas and not target people wearing black. Today I heard that a woman walked outside to take care of her baby and immediately got a fine. There are violators on the beaches and at demonstrations in Tel Aviv, let’s see the policemen starting with them.
“The persecution is against anything to do with religion. They decided today to allow usage of halls and clubs for up to 250 people but at the same time they want shuls to reduce to 50 participants irrespective of the size of the shul- 100 or 1000 meters.”
Eichler concluded by referring to the storm over the arrest of a left-wing protester at a demonstration. “People are talking here about the right to demonstrate as if it is sacred because a left-winger blocked a street and was arrested. I never knew that there was such a right, they never let Chareidim block streets during demonstrations.”