Just days after ex-Labor MK Omer Bar-Lev handed a letter of apology to the sons of HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein, z’tl in which he stated that he “apologizes from the bottom of his heart,” he claimed that it wasn’t an apology after all.
In an interview with Yediot Achranot, Bar-Lev said: “We didn’t surrender. I don’t see it as an apology letter. You can write headlines from here to there but it wasn’t a letter of apology.”
“We weren’t pressured by the threats,” Bar-Lev claimed, explaining why he visited the Edelstein home. “But as soon as it turned into another battle in the Israeli public and against the bakery – a bakery that has been supplying bread for 100 years – as soon as it became clear to us that our silence was being interpreted as arrogance and disdain, it was clear that something had to be done.”
Bar-Lev explained the sequence of events: “A week after I assumed the position of chairman of the board of directors of Angel Bakery, various parties spread fake news about me as if I had protested in front of the home of HaRav Edelstein, z’tl, slighting his kavod. I didn’t foresee the result of the boycott. But it happened very quickly.”
It should be noted that contrary to Bar-Lev’s claim that the protest just happened to be at that specific location in Bnei Brak, the protest organizers announced that the protest was outside the home of the Rosh Yeshivah, z’tl in a notice to the press.
Bar-Lev admitted that he was surprised by the strength and scope of the boycott but denied that his “apology” [that “wasn’t an apology”] had anything to do with financial concerns. “The whole story is not a financial one. Obviously, orders were canceled, but what worried us was that people would start to be fired from the branches [that were closing due to the boycott]. So people supporting their families will be fired? That’s all I needed.”
It should be noted that as soon as the reports of Bar-Lev’s “apology” was publicized, he was attacked by the far-left for “capitulating” to the Chareidim so he is obviously now trying to save face.
Angel owner Yaron Angel disavowed himself from Bar-Lev’s statements. “Omer Bar-Lev is a private and political person and the interview was a personal one. We were not a party to the interview and what was said during it. Angel Bakery apologized sincerely and in a clear and open manner – an unambiguous apology. This is a fact and we stand behind it.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)