The head of the Yuvalim community council which is responsible for Kiryat Yovel, Roni Sharon, has come out in support of senior local official Yechiel Levy, who during a Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) interview explained his plan to oust the chareidim from the area. While Levy spoke of “choking the chareidim and depriving them of services” to force them out, his superior stands firmly behind his words. Sharon explained “it was simply a slip of the month”, adding that he is likely to be censured for his words but he has no plan to dismiss him from his post.
Not all are as supportive as Ministers Aryeh Deri and Yaakov Litzman along with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called for Levy’s dismissal in light of his anti-chareidi statements. Some of his critics referred to Levy’s remarks as “anti-Semitic”.
Among the audible critics of his statements was President Reuven Rivlin but the president fell short of calling for his dismissal.
Sharon told Kol Chai Radio Mordechai Lavi that the entire interview was not aired by Galei Tzahal and “this was unfortunate”, indicating other portions of Levy’s statements would have shown a different side of the individual in question.
Sharon added he was elected by the community and tensions and problems exist between secular and chareidi residents in many areas, not just Kiryat Yovel. Hence, he has no plans of stepping down or dismissing Levy.
Sharon was asked to address the airing of movies on Shabbos close to chareidi areas. He explained “The movies have always been shown in Beit Taylor and this is nothing new. I stand behind my CEO. The problem is not Roni or council members, but the secular and chareidi residents living here. I so wish they would live harmoniously with one another, and stop accusing the other of one thing or another, and cease becoming involved in the lives of the other and the other’s lifestyle. That means if you wish to go to shul no one will say a word and the same holds true for going to see a movie. I see no reason to stop airing movies on Shabbos”.
He concluded “I am Shomer Shabbos and mitzvos. This is not a matter of religious. As a religious Jews I have an issue with movies on Shabbos but this is a necessity for this population”.
MK (Yahadut Hatorah) backed Mayor Nir Barkat’s call to dismiss Sharon, accusing him of being a cause of hate and backing the words of his subordinate.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)