Words Of Support For Chareidim From A Most Unlikely Place, Meretz

MK Ilan Gilon

“This is discrimination against the other and criminal behavior,” MK (Meretz) Ilan Gilon defines the exclusion of the chareidim from parks in Givat Shmuel by the municipality during bein hazmanim.

In the interim, the Knesset Presidium approved the proposal on the issue of MKs Gafni (Yahadut Hatorah), Azoulai (Shas) and Hanin (Meretz).

Speaking to Kikar Shabbos News, Gilon stated, “This is a clear case of ugly discrimination based on hatred of the other. Through the façade of the excuses of the municipality of Givat Shmuel, it is evident that it is acting with the intent of preventing chareidi families from reaching the parks in its territory.”

MK Ilan Gilon added, “I view with great severity the conduct of the municipality and to the best of my knowledge it is criminal conduct that is contrary to the law. The fact that the park is located in the municipal jurisdiction of the municipality does not allow it to do so in its own right. This is public space and not private.”

“I call upon the mayor of Givat Shmuel to immediately retract his decision,” says Gilon.

At the same time, Gilon sent a harsh letter to the mayor of Givat Shmuel, Yossi Rodney, under the heading: “Ugly and illegal discrimination against the residents of Bnei Brak.”

In his letter, Gilon wrote: “I am contacting you regarding the publication because you do not allow the residents of the city of Bnei Brak to enter public parks within the jurisdiction of the municipality of Givat Shmuel, which is under your leadership.”

He adds, “I see with great severity the conduct of the municipality and call on you to cancel the decision immediately, to the best of my knowledge, it is a criminal act that violates the law and acts without authority.

Meanwhile, Deputy Knesset Speaker MK Yisrael Eichler added to the agenda the theme of racism and discrimination in the parks in Givat Shmuel, submitted by Knesset Members Moshe Gafni, Yinon Azoulai and Dov Khenin.

MK (Arab List) Dov Khenin joined the agenda proposal on the subject, submitted by Degel Hatorah chairman and Chairman of the Finance Committee MK Moshe Gafni, joined by MK Yinon Azoulai of Shas.

In a conversation with Kikar Shabbos News, MK Dov Khenin explained that “racism in Israeli society is an epidemic and it is forbidden to accept it. Not when it comes to Arabs, not when it comes to Ethiopians, and not when it comes to chareidim. If we allow it to spread, it will destroy us all.”

MK Khenin adds that “a park is a public space that belongs to everyone, and it is forbidden to exclude populations from it. The cooperation between Gafni and me on the subject began as soon as I was elected to the Knesset. We already passed a bill prohibiting discrimination and exclusion in public parks. I will continue this path until we drop these phenomena everywhere.”

As reported by YWN-ISRAEL, the municipality of Givat Shmuel decided to close the entrance to Ginot Ha’ir during bein hazmanim to all non-residents. Persons wishing to enter will have to show a resident card. Among many residents of Bnei Brak and among many residents of Givat Shmuel, the decision was taken with anger, as they claim to be discrimination and exclusion of the chareidim in nearby Bnei Brak.

The Municipality of Givat Shmuel told Kikar News “these are certain times – the three weeks during the summer vacation, between the hours of 16:00 and 22:00 only, during which there will be urban activities for the residents of the city. A resident of another city (from the north to the south) will not be able to take part in this activity.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)