Knesset Members Argue Over Shul-Going Habits


knessetintA Knesset debate today on council tax exemptions for rooms adjoining shuls that are used as botei medrash or event halls turned into a bizarre argument over Sephardi and Ashkenazi shul-going habits.

Construction and Housing Minister Ariel Atias turned to Kadima MK Dalia Itzik, asking, “How is it that a Sephardi woman who goes to¬†shul is working against this move?”

According to Kadima sources, the startled Itzik asked Atias exactly what he meant by the remark, to which the Shas minister responded, “Sephardim go to shul and Ashkenazim don’t.”

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni then jumped in, saying, “My family and I are Ashkenazim and we certainly do go to shul.”

Adding fuel to the fire, Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush (UTJ) attacked Kadima for its opposition to the exemption, saying, “A believing person cannot be a Kadima member.”

Eventually, the exemption was approved in a preliminary reading by 60 MKs to 24.

Speaking to Army Radio after the session, Atias admitted having a confrontation with Itzik, but denied saying Ashkenazim don’t go to shul.

{Yair Israel/JPost}