Following the publication of an article on Bchadrei Chareidim’s website regarding the Health Ministry’s demands to limit attendance in Meron this year during the Lag Ba’Omer festivities, Chareidi MKs have decried the demand as discrimination.
The claims of the Chareidi MKs are that while people going up to the Har Habayis has not been limited at all due to worries about the Coronavirus, the pilgrimage to Meron shouldn’t be either.
The office of Interior Minister Aryeh Deri confirmed that Coronavirus commissioner Professor Nachman Ash demanded limitations to the annual pilgrimage that takes place on Lag Ba’Omer and the days around it.
Deri’s office issued a statement which said that Minsiter Deri warned Ash against placing a limitation on the pilgrimage as it would be a regulation that the public would not hold by, as people from all segments of the population and all groups, attend the mass-pilgrimage. The statement further read: “Thanks to Hashem’s grace, the Coronavirus is receding drastically in Israel, and it is important to make every effort, in conjunction with the regulations, to allow the maximum number of people to attend.”
Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush from UTJ attacked the decision to limit the pilgrimage and said: “The rules regarding Meron should be similar to the rules put in place with regards to the Har Habayis. If they will allow a hundred thousand people to attend services on the Temple Mount next week during Ramadan, then there is no reason that the number of participants in Meron should be any less.”
MK Yisroel Eichler also spoke very strongly about the decision. “Gone are the days when the powers that be have strong-armed the Charedim in the name of Corona. If the disease is a threat to Jews in the open air on Har Meron, it is even more dangerous for the tens of thousands of Muslims who will be going up to the Temple Mount during Ramadan. The pandemic doesn’t differentiate between The Temple Mount and Har Meron.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)