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Sephardic Chief Rabbi Assails Media

Sephardic Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliahu has charged that journalists were responsible for the recent violence between secular and ultra-Orthodox Jews and denounced the anti-racism law pending in the Knesset. “If journalists take lessons on the rules of slander there will be many blank sports in the newspapers,” Eliahu said in an interview published in the periodical of the Habad Hasidic movement. Once they learn the lessons, there will be an end to the situation in which every week “someone else’s blood is being spilled, and the next week there is a small apology, he said.

He expressed shock over the recent arson against a Tel Aviv synagogue, maintaining “it is possible that a PLO man committed that act” because it is hard to believe it was done by a Jew. The arson, and the desecration of sacred books at two yeshivas are believed to have been the work of anti-religious extremists retaliating for a wave of vandalism and arson against bus shelters by ultra-Orthodox Jews who objected to advertising posters.

Eliahu also attacked “all of those of the education committees” who object to introducing religious studies in public schools. He told them to “repent publicly and announce that you are ready to introduce Judaism from now on to all educational institutions.”

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