According to HaGaon HaRav Yosef Chaim Blau, who serves as chief rabbi of Ashkelon, the recent arrests involving rabbonim stem from a disdain for religion. Rav Blau, who is an elder among civil service rabbonim serving as a head of a city spoke with Kikar Shabbos, referring to the arrests of rabbonim including Rabbi Yonah Metzger and Rabbi Yoram Abarjil.
Interestingly, regarding the arrest of Rabbi Abarjil, the chareidi media reported on the incident and the prominent rav/mekubal received widespread support in the chareidi media. When Rabbi Abarjil was released from detention to house arrest a number of prominent rabbonim visited him to give him a chizuk.
Regarding the former chief rabbi, the chareidi media remains silent, not reporting in a positive or negative light.
The secular media contains a poll regarding Rabbi Metzger’s arrest, with most Israelis reportedly expressing a negative opinion on the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, which many feel is plagued with corruption.
Rabbi Blau believes the main agenda is the disdain for the Chief Rabbinate and the widespread media coverage of the arrests is part of the ongoing effort to eliminate the institution of the Chief Rabbinate entirely.
He feels the left-wing dominated media has a clear agenda and discrediting rabbonim and the Chief Rabbinate is part of that very same agenda.
Referring to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s ordeal, Rabbi Blau expressed his hope that Rabbi Metzger’s legal process will not take more than a few weeks or months and not 17 years.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)