By Eliezer Rauchberger
In response to a Parliamentary inquiry by MK Moshe Gafni, the Minister of Internal Security, who is in charge of the police, said, of an incident that was very widely reported in the media about a seven year-old girl who was spit at by a chareidi man, “The incident reached the headlines in the media. At the time, the police were very active, but such an incident was never reported to police until several months after the incident was alleged, and then only on the basis of the media reports. No complaint was filed by the victim or the victim’s family, and there was no report of a specific suspect. The incident was never investigated and the incident does not exist. It was reported in the media and nothing more than that.”
Rabbi Gafni had noted in his inquiry that before the last Knesset elections there was a report that a seven-year-old girl in Beit Shemesh was spat upon by a chareidi man. The report caused a big shock in Israeli society.
Rabbi Gafni said that he was shocked by the Minister’s answer. “Everyone knows that an Israeli political party was founded based on that spitting incident. One man made a television report of the incident on a Friday night, involving mass chilul Shabbos, and told all his viewers that a chareidi man spit at a girl in Beit Shemesh. We chareidi political representatives told whoever would listen that we do not believe the reports and that we never heard of such an awful thing happening.
“The incitement [against the entire chareidi community] that followed was terrible. Now it turns out that Yesh Atid [the political party of Treasury Minister Lapid] was founded based on a spitting incident that never existed. A chareidi did not spit. The Minister testified here in the Knesset plenum that no complaint was ever filed in the matter.
“I now expect that the one who prepared that report on Friday night, and is now the Treasury Minister, Yair Lapid, will come to the Knesset plenum and apologize. He should apologize to the chareidi community whom he turned into a society that spits at little girls. Let us see if Yair Lapid has the courage to ask for forgiveness.”
In response the Minister said, “I did not say that such an incident did not occur. Only that the police never got a complaint in the matter.”
Rabbi Gafni responded, “The entire country roiled and seethed over a spitting that never happened. If someone had spit at a seven-year-old girl they would go to the police. No one complained. The police did not investigate. And the Treasury Minister should stand up here and apologize to me and to the entire chareidi community.”