(VIDEO IN EXTENDED ARTICLE)
Chairman of the Yesh Atid opposition party, MK Yair Lapid, spent considerable time and effort to persuade the chareidi public that he is in no way anti-chareidi, insisting he was labeled incorrectly.
Lapid’s party continues to show promise in election polls, placing him either first or second, ahead of or behind Likud. That said, as reported by YWN-ISRAEL, Lapid is back to his old ways, warning his potential followers the chareidim are trying to take over.
In an address and a letter sent by Yesh Atid around the country, he speaks of how the chareidim are indeed trying to force Shabbos upon everyone – like it or not.
A portion from the letter reads, “I want to say from here to the citizens of Israel. If you live in Modi’in, they are going to close the city on Shabbos. If you live in Eilat, they are going to close the city on Shabbos. If you live in Netanya, they are going to close the city on Shabbos. If you live in the Krayot, they are going to close the city on Shabbos. If you live in Ashkelon, Beersheva, Ariel, Holon, Bat Yam, they are going to close the city on Shabbos.
“There will be no stores, and if you go for a walk on Shabbos there will be no Yellow or Alonit [convenience stores] at the gas stations. There will be a closed sign on your city, and that’s it. Not because you disturbed someone. Not because chareidi residents live next to you, and it bothers them. Not because someone complained. They’ll shut down the city for you to show they can. Because the chareidi parties want to show that they can tell secular and traditional people what to do and how to live. And Netanyahu, because of his investigations, is folding and giving in to everything. ”
“He ended, “Why close stores in neighborhoods and cities that they do not even live in? To force just to do so? We will fight this law with all our might here in the Knesset, in the court, and in the streets and squares. It’s not a war over religion, it’s a war for freedom, and for the right to vote, and for no one to tell us how to live.”
MK Yisrael Eichler uses his time at the plenum podium to address Lapid and his comments. He calls Lapid’s letter a “hate campaign”, as the letter was sent to tens of thousands of people. Eichler explains that Lapid chooses to hide the fact the chareidim are simply working to protect the Shabbos status quo that has been respected for 70 years. He adds that Lapid also hides the fact that many traditional Jews do not want to be compelled to work on Shabbos, and they too support the bill, which will seal their right to remain home on Shabbos in the law.
Eichler explains that rather than explain the above, Lapid prefers to incite the secular community against chareidim, as he has always done. He calls Lapid’s behavior “inappropriate for one wishing to serve as Prime Minister one day”, adding Lapid’s words are full of lies and untruths.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)