Haredi MK Yisrael Eichler: Arabs have caught on to anti-religious propaganda

Eichler called on Netanyahu and Min. of Interior Security to 'put an end to false propaganda' in order to avoid further bloodshed.

Hezki Baruch ,

Yisrael Eichler
Yisrael Eichler
Kobi Richter/TPS

MK Yisrael Eichler addressed anti-haredi violence on the part of local Arabs during a Knesset speech today (Tuesday, April 20).

"We are appalled by daily reports of Jews being beaten for being Jewish in [parts of the Old City] along with the sale of video games [where the point of the game is to gun down haredim]," he said and continued, "The question needs to be asked: Where did they get these ideas?"

"One of the answers is the treatment the haredi sector has received at the hands of the media over the past year and the constant incitement, blaming us for the spread of the COVID virus. Apparently someone took notice," Eichler asserted.

"If the government fails to address violence against religious Jews, we could have mass bloodshed on our hands, God forbid. What begins with a slap and a beating can easily turn into murder," he said, referencing an incident in which an Arab was videotaped slapping a young haredi man on the Jerusalem light rail.

Religious Jews, haredim in particular, have been frequent targets of recent attacks. Over the past week, a Jewish youth was attacked at the entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem by an Arab assailant who threw scalding hot coffee on him, with the footage spreading via the TikTok social platform.

Overnight, a gang of young Arabs attacked a haredi youth as he rode his bicycle between the Old City of Jerusalem and city hall.

"It appears that the current power vacuum may be behind the spread of recent anarchy," said Eichler, urging the Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Security to step up safety measures.

Eichler said that anti-haredi discrimination could also be seen in restrictions imposed on individuals wishing to celebrate Lag B'Omer in Meron. "No one has suggested restricting beach-goers or other [recreational activities]. Visitors traveling by car have been prevented from visiting Meron for years now, dating far before Corona struck in order to decrease the number of visitors. Why? What's the big deal? There are not enough buses. If people are forbidden to arrive by private vehicles, trains should be provided throughout the day to allow prayer in the holy places."

"If this was only during the Corona crisis, it would be one thing. But we've seen the same thing for years now. We can't let this happen. People must be allowed to travel as they please and Jews should be encouraged to come to Meron especially now that health restriction have been lifted. More buses and trains should be added to the ones already in service on Thursdays and the Friday night of Lag B'Omer up until the coming of Shabbat," he added.