Anti-Zionist tax cheat amnestied by Israeli president mulls naming 17th child after him


(JTA) — An anti-Zionist activist from one of Jerusalem’s haredi Orthodox communities said he may name his 17th child after Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who freed the man from jail.

Yoalish Krois, a senior member of the vehemently anti-Zionist Orthodox Council of Jerusalem who was sentenced last year to five months in prison for tax evasion, was released on June 29 and thus was home in time for the birth of the boy on July 4, Radio Kol Chai reported Tuesday.

“I’m considering naming him after Reuven Rivlin,” Krois, 45, told the radio station.

Such homage would be remarkable in light of his resolute refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of the country that Rivlin represents.

Krois, the chief of operations for the Orthodox Council of Jerusalem, or Eda Haredit, told the Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon in 2007 that he repeatedly calls on haredim to observe a day of mourning on Israel’s Independence Day because he regards the country’s creation as the “worst disaster to have befallen the Jewish people, worse than the Holocaust and the destruction of the Temple.”

His hostility to the state is hardline even relative to other leasers of his group, which comprises tens of  thousands of households. Krois has said he boycotts Israel businesses with support from the government at present or historically, including the Tnuva dairy giant and the Egged bus company. He has been fined repeatedly for refusing to carry an Israeli identity card as required by law, or even have one issued for him.

Krois was convicted in April of running an illegal slaughterhouse for poultry in Jerusalem with an Arab Muslim partner. He never reported his revenues from the enterprise. He had spent fewer than 60 days in prison before he was released by Rivlin.

Recommended from JTA