A cartoon appearing in the Israeli Yated Ne’eman angered Chacham Ovadia Yosef Shlita – to the extent that he ordered the Shas Party to pull out of the Religious Lobby in the Knesset (which is headed by UTJ).
The cartoon shows two men sitting in a lifeguards chair at a swimming pool. One man who was dressed in shorts & sandals – wearing a Yarmulka and trimmed black beard, representing a Shas follower – is in cahoots with a secular person representing Kadima. Wearing a big grin, the two were dumping a rock labeled “2008 cuts” on the head of a Chareidi man – who appears to be drowning.
Behind this confrontation lies a struggle over the 2008 state budget, which is expected to allot NIS 310.6 million to religious institutions, compared with NIS 692.2 million a year earlier.
A Shas statement said: “Degel HaTorah and its newspaper Yated Ne’eman have set out as policy to continue racism and hatred of Sephardim. For the first time an anti-Semitic cartoon that would not have shamed any anti-Semitic paper in the world was published. The Degel HaTorah leadership must rid itself from its hatred for Sephardim, from its patronizing attitude for the Sephardi community, which was its habit before the establishment of Shas.”
[NOTE: Yated Ne'eman in the USA has no connection to the Yated Ne'eman in Eretz Yisroel whatsoever.]
(With reporting by Haaretz)