Following harsh anti-charedi language during recent anti-government protests, the Ministerial Committee on Legislation of the Knesset decided on Sunday to support a bill that would make inciting against chareidim a violation of Israel’s anti-racism legislation.
The bill’s proponent, United Torah Judaism MK Yaakov Asher, declared that it was necessary to “draw a red line against dangerous and pervasive incitement against the charedi public.”
“The bill will make it clear that the blood of charedi citizens is not cheap and will enable extracting a price from instigators.”
The proposal seeks to enhance a 1977 anti-racism law (Hebrew link) that includes disciplinary actions against people who encourage racism or violence based on race or national-ethnic origin; however, it is unclear what the exact sanctions would be.
The bill states in its explanatory notes that the current legislation only defines racist incitement “in cases in which the racism is due to [skin] color or belonging to a race or national-ethnic group, and the charedi population is not distinguished by color, race, or national-ethnic.”
The notes stated that there was no justification for an exemption to the law’s provisions since the ultra-Orthodox community “is distinguished by its clothing and lifestyle, in this regard.”
The legislation denounces “an expanding phenomenon of incitement to racism toward the charedi population,” highlighting instances that are “particularly grievous” and “carried out by elected officials with the aim of dividing the people and thus reaping political benefit, while harming the entire community.”
According to the proposal, “the definition of racism is proposed to be expanded in this bill to include the prohibition of inciting racism toward the charedi population” and limiting “the entrenchment of the phenomenon of racism towards the charedi population.”
Asher initially introduced a similar bill in the last Knesset.
Before the state budget was passed on May 24, hundreds of people participated in a recent anti-government demonstration in Bnei Brak.
They accused the coalition of “looting” the state’s funds while enabling males in the Charedi community to evade employment and military duty.
Omer Bar-Lev, a former minister of public security, also took part in an anti-charedi demonstration in front of Rabbi Edelstein’s home, which prompted a charedi boycott of Angel’s goods as Bar-Lev is their director.
Newspaper caricatures mocked Charedim for obtaining increased funding, comparing them to anti-Semitic governments.
The adoption of the budget, according to opposition leader Yair Lapid, “brings no fresh tidings, no attempt to fight the cost of living—just endless extortion.”
“Our children and our children’s children will pay for this budget, which violates the agreement with Israeli citizens,” he stated.
After dubbing Charedim “bloodsuckers” during a panel discussion about the government’s financial objectives, TV anchor Galit Gutman sparked controversy before the budget vote.
How much of this country’s burden can be imposed on the one-third of the Charedi population to sustain all of these bloodsuckers?
On her Channel 12 morning news program in May, Gutman noted In her Friday broadcast, Gutman stated that there is no other way to describe what the Haredim are doing.
“Our new administration is essentially milking the people.
Our young people who attend college and serve in the military won’t stay in our country.
They are draining the blood [out of us], I tell you.
We’re done sitting here and taking it; they’re milking us, and they have no shame.
Politicians from the coalition and the opposition who are Charedi were outspoken in their criticism of Gutman’s comments.
She then expressed regret for her remarks.