‘We are in a religious war,’ says ultra-Orthodox MK

The left-wing’s “war is not economic, security, or social, it is a religious war. That’s how you have to treat it,” said MK Moshe Gafni.

By World Israel News Staff

A Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) lawmaker said that anti-judicial reform protesters are engaged in a religious war, focused on preventing expressions of Judaism in public spaces.

MK Moshe Gafni of the United Torah Judaism party said that the Tel Aviv Yom Kippur clashes should be evidence that demonstrators who claim they are opposed to the ongoing judicial reform legislation are actually fighting against traditional Judaism.

“You are not referring to judicial reform or anything of the sort. You are waging a religious war against us… What we saw on Yom Kippur in Tel Aviv is proof,” Gafni said while speaking at a party event on Saturday evening.

“Their war is not economic, security, or social, it is a religious war. That’s how you have to treat it,” the lawmaker added.

Gafni also expressed skepticism over media reports and claims from activists that the judicial overhaul would negatively impact Israel’s economy and standing in the international business world.

“Quite a long time has passed since [those reports] and the economy is excellent,” he said. “The high-tech, the deficit and the government’s expenditures and revenues. Nothing has changed.”

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Last week, left-wing demonstrators – among them members of the Brothers in Arms protest group – physically and verbally attacked Jewish worshippers praying throughout Tel Aviv on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar.

Demonstrators who converged on a prayer session in Dizengoff Square asserted that the worshippers were breaking the law due to the erection of a small mechitzah – a divider separating men and women, which is mandatory for Orthodox prayer.

However, police had determined that the small bamboo frame decorated with Israeli flags constructed by Rosh Yehudi, the group which organized the prayers, was not large enough to constitute a violation of a policy barring gender separation in public spaces.