The High Court justices dismissed a provocative petition filed by the municipality of Kiryat Motzkin, headed by Chaim Tzuri, against the rabbi of the city, HaGaon HaRav David Meir Druckman.
According to the contentious petition filed by the municipality, the city’s rabbi, who has been in his post for more than 35 years, “is constantly trying to instill a quarrel among the city’s residents,” among other things because of the statements attributed to the rabbi against Arabs, after statements pertaining to concerns over the increased presence of Arab men alongside Jewish girls in the city, and the rav warned against assimilation.
Rabbi Druckman is considered a beloved rabbi and accepted by the entire population of the city, but it is possible that his unwarranted war on matters of halacha and modesty was an anathema to certain elements. In the petition, the High Court of Justice was asked to grant an order to instruct the Ministry of Religious Services to take disciplinary action against him and to remove him from office because he behaved in a manner that was not appropriate to his status.
The three High Court justices rejected the petition, without ordering the rav to pay legal cost. The Kiryat Motzkin Municipality has been severely criticized for the legal proceedings, as the city paid a lawyer no less than NIS 140,000 to oust the rabbi from his post.
City Opposition chairman Tziki Avisar was critical of the fact the city hired an outside attorney instead of using the city’s attorney, who is on payroll, and instead, “City Hall decided to throw away NIS 140,000 in taxpayer funds.”
Rav Druckman was represented by Arab lawyer Ayman Abu Raya of Haifa. The rav responded: “As for the High Court’s decision, I had no doubt that this would be the case. However, it is also good that the general public also felt that what happened here was nothing more than an egocentric, perplexing and disturbing campaign of revenge.
“It’s a shame that the law in the country allows heads of local authorities to use the public coffers to finance the chatter of public figures, including [against] rabbonim who are unwilling to dance at the pace of their voices.
“Thank G-d, in my case, the public knows me, I love the public in all its shades, and I feel their love for me, but I will not deny that the mayor’s harassment has robbed me of precious time.”
Rabbi Druckman added: “I give a chizuk to all rabbonim of Israel to express their opinion audibly, without fear, in all matters of strengthening Yiddishkeit and Eretz HaKodesh.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)