‘We must do everything’ to stop change gov’t, say rabbis in open letter

Rabbis charge that proposed government “relies on terror supporters” and will harm Israel’s security.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Several of Israel’s most prominent rabbis, including spiritual leader of the Religious Zionism movement Chaim Druckman and Tzfat Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, signed an open letter calling on the Israeli public to “do everything” possible to stop the so-called change government.

“We cannot accept a reality in which a government will be formed in Israel that will harm the most fundamental matters of religion and state that were accepted since the establishment of the State of Israel and until today by all Israeli governments,” the letter read.

“There is no doubt that this government will also harm matters of security, which relate to our very existence, as it relies on terror supporters and includes members who urge the International Criminal Court in The Hague to investigate IDF officers for war crimes,” the letter said, referring to the Ra’am party and Meretz head Nitzan Horowitz, respectively.

“This government is entirely against the will of the people as directly reflected by the past elections. We must try and do everything so that this government is not formed.”

But on the heels of a warning from Shin Bet head Nadav Argaman that online discourse around stopping the coalition had escalated to a dangerous level, Druckman released a video on Saturday evening clarifying that the public should refrain from violence.

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‘Incitement exists only in the imagination’

“I want to reassure everyone, there is no incitement here, incitement exists only in the imagination of those who say so,” Druckman said.

“[The letter] is a real and painful call from rabbis who think that the government that is about to be formed will not be good for the people of Israel,” he said.

Suggesting that the Shin Bet warning was melodramatic, he continued by saying that “certainly in a democracy it is possible to express things in a letter, just as it is possible to demonstrate for months next to the prime minister on Balfour Street, even during the Corona period and it is not considered incitement.

“It is inconceivable that there is any kind of violence [promoted] here, whether it is physical violence or even verbal violence. We’re calling [for protest] in a democratic way, [for] everything possible can be done to prevent the formation of this government, that is the simple meaning of the rabbis’ letter.”

In a recent interview with Kfar Chabad Magazine, another signatory of the letter encouraged the public to shun right-wing MKs who support the new government.

“[They] should feel wherever they go that they are unwanted, unacceptable,” said Rabbi Eliyahu.

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“It is impossible to betray your public and expect applause. The public should treat these people according to their actions.”