Love your neighbor
MK Eichler: Reform Jews worse than Arabs
Hiddush CEO, Rabbi Uri Regev: Eichler’s behavior reveals the sad truth of the ultra-Orthodox parties in the Israeli Knesset is deep hatred of the other, simply because they are other.
Former MK, Israel Eichler of United Torah Judaism. 03.11.2003. Photo: Flash 90
“Since you brought Reform Jews, who are worse than Arabs, to the Knesset discussion on the exclusion of women, you won’t even be able to handle Likkud”, said the Chairman of United Torah Judaism Yisrael Eichler to Chairwoman of the Committee on the Status of Women in the Knesset, MK Tzipi Hotovely.
Eichler, who sees Israel an "enemy state", "historic national disaster", and an "evil regime", recently left an event, at which he was the guest of honor, because a children's choir that included girls began to sing. Following his remarks,
Hotovely removed Eichler from the discussion. The Mayor of Beit Shemesh, Shas’ Moshe Abutbol, was also removed because of misconduct. Mayor Abutbol's tenure in Beit Shemesh have led to violent extremism in the streets against women and young girls.
Eichler asked sarcastically why they weren’t fighting about the exclusion of women in a synagogue and let women be cantors. He defined women who read Torah as “apostates”.
Hiddush President, Rabbi Uri Regev, said in response: “Eichler’s behavior reveals the sad truth that underlying the work of the ultra-Orthodox parties in the Israeli Knesset is deep hatred of the other whether he or she is Jewish (but not connected to the ultra-Orthodox world) or not. There is no placement for hatred of Jews or Arabs in Israel, but particularly not in the Knesset. I commend the Committee Chairwoman for dismissing Eichler from the conversation.” Regev called on the Knesset Ethics Committee to impose sanctions in order to deter Eichler from such hateful speech.
Rabbi Uri Regev: It should be unthinkable that a member of the Israeli Knesset would speak so crudely; words so blatantly hateful have no place in Knesset proceedings
Regev continued: "The Knesset should exemplify the values of the State, its commitment to equality, religious, and national tolerance. It should be unthinkable that a member of the Israeli Knesset would speak so crudely about Reform Jews and empowered women who read Torah; words so blatantly hateful have no place in Knesset proceedings."
The news station NRG states that tempers flared in the committee when conversation turned toward the ultra-Orthodox radio station, “Kol B’Rama” which only allows women’s voices about an hour a day.
Following Eichler’s statements, the Movement for Progressive Judaism will submit a formal complaint to the Knesset Ethics Committee. MK Hotovely said after the hearing: "It saddens me that they let politics take advantage of a Knesset committee discussion in order to be provocative for the popularity or internal politics."
See YNet's coverage of Eichler's remarks