Bayit Yehudi leader Minister Naftali Bennett has responded to the motzei Shabbos verbal assault from Rosh Yeshivat Porat Yosef Rabbi Shalom Cohen Shlita, who called the dati leumi community “Amalek”. Bennett opted to respond via his Facebook page, beginning with “You should be ashamed!”
“At this moment, thousands of kippot srugot are on the border from Syria to Egypt from the level of battalion commander to regular soldier and they are spitting blood to protect the rabbi.
“In the coming days there will be a memorial for the fallen of the Second Lebanon War, for the secular and kippot srugot alike. Some were cited for their meritorious actions. Does the rav refer to them as Amalek too?
“At this very moment, thousands of knitted kippot sit with their rabbis and teachers and they are studying Torah in hesder yeshivot or yeshiva gedola. At a later date, they too will serve in the IDF. Does they rav call them Amalek too or non Jews?
“Bayit Yehudi has been working around the clock to minimize the blow to the Torah world and there has been a measure of success. (I also did everything possible even while in China). The Bayit Yehudi also brought much success to the share the burden plan towards making it more balanced for chareidim and recognizing limud Torah as a national value. This too is Amalek?
“That is not all. The rabbi made mention of ‘Druckman and the others of Amalek’. He of course was referring to Rabbi Druckman, the Israel Prize recipient, Rosh Yeshivat Ohr Etzion and the same rabbi who recently celebrated his 80th birthday in the presence of the prime minister along with thousands of graduates of Bnei Akiva yeshivot. They too are Amalek?
“On erev Tisha B’Av I call on all chareidi leaders and politicians from Rav Ovadia, who sat at his side when the comments were made. To all of you, even though you are not in the government and even though we have political arguments to reject and condemn these statements. I ask and expect that this will occur this morning, immediately. I will not permit the continuation of the incitement campaign against the dati leumi tzibur.
“I am proud to be among the kippot srugot!”
Bayit Yehudi Minister Uri Ariel also commented on the remarks of the rosh yeshiva, expressing outrage on the content and timing of the rav’s words.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)