‘Ultra-Orthodox should be more like Arabs,’ says haredi rabbi

Ultra-Orthodox rabbi says that “Zionism is heresy.”

By World Israel News staff

Lamenting the work of ultra-Orthodox lawmakers, a hasidic rabbi said that “we should be more like Arabs,” according to a report by BeHadrei Haredim. The comment is unusual as often ultra-Orthodox and Arabs find themselves on opposite ends of the political spectrum.

“Zionism is heresy,” said Rabbi Avraham Weinberg, head rabbi of the Slonim Hasidic movement in Bnei Brak.

“In Pirkei Avot it says: ‘Pray for the integrity of the government; for were it not for the fear of its authority, a man would swallow his neighbor alive,'” he said.

However, he said that this government is “corrupt and built on lies,” and that ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) lawmakers succumbed to the same corruption when they went into the government.

Weinberg added that “perhaps it would be better if we were like the Arabs,” as he compared Arabs to Jews in that Arabs do not enlist in the army, but Jews must.

“The problem is that they give [the Arabs] a pass, but Haredi Jews don’t get a pass, because they want to uproot our religion,” he said.

In October, a bill to increase ultra-Orthodox enlistment was introduced into Knesset. The bill required that budget cuts be made to yeshivas should enlistment targets not be met.

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It was intended to be advanced after a government budget was finally agreed upon.

However, the draft bill is not the only source of contention the ultra-Orthodox have with the government.

Mass protests often erupt in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, ultra-Orthodox Israelis often protested lockdown measures.