Tzfas Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu Shlita was interviewed by Galei Yisrael’s Kalman Lipskind. Rav Eliyahu admitted his disappointment with many players, including the Bayit Yehudi party. He explained he is not able to understand why Bayit Yehudi, the dati leumi party, cut a deal at the expense of electing a dati leumi Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Yerushalayim. He added what many do not understand is that it is not just a matter of electing a chief rabbi, but having a say in an entire network, one that includes appointing rabbis of the many neighborhoods of the capital. Rabbi Eliyahu explained that today there are no dati leumi rabbonim appointed as rabbonim of neighborhoods because there have not been dati leumi rabbonim at the helm of Yerushalayim and once again the opportunity was lost.
He blames the loss on the fact the Rabbi Chaim Amsellem’s people shifted to Rav Amar and this shifted the race. He added Bayit Yehudi’s Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan regretted the deal made with Rav Amar, adding “Rav Eli is a friend of mine and it is difficult to speak of him in this context”.
Rav Eliyahu feels that some of the Bayit Yehudi faction members do not understand their shlichus which compels them to see a bigger picture. He explained the party officials need to understand that in order to advance an agenda the correct people must be placed in the key positions. “When the party does not advance its people, those who believe in the derech, the party destroys the building in which it sits”.
Regarding the vicious campaign against him waged by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, Rav Eliyahu added “Tzipi Livni’s agenda is clear. It is leftist extremist. She pushes her agenda using the Justice Ministry. It is most unfortunate that Bayit Yehudi did nothing in response. Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein broke the law. The left marched and Weinstein acquiesced”.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)