Charedi Leaders Accuse Netanyahu Of Selective Punishment


A group of charedi leaders sent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a harshly-worded letter on Sunday, warning him that they would not forgive him for casting the charedi community as “spreaders of disease.”

The letter, written by Beitar Illit Mayor Meir Rubenstein, Elad Mayor Yisrael Frush and Emmanuel Regional Council leader Eliyahu Gafni, stated: “We have all faced difficult battles, at home and outside, to take various steps to remove [COVID-19] carriers from our cities, carry out as many tests as possible, maintain social distancing, and locate and shut down places with potential to cause outbreaks. We have changed the equation by significant percentages, through personal initiative and by rebuilding trust that has been eroded at the national level.”

The letter goes on to accuse Netanyahu of not even attempting to understand the charedi community.

“As the person in charge of this crisis, you have never bothered to listen to us, to understand our distress or try to promote real initiatives to flatten the curve. You never gave us your ear or bothered to ask, understand, or study what characterizes a sizable portion of the population in Israel,” the letter states.

The repeated, ineffective lockdowns on charedi cities had eroded the sector’s trust in the government, the leaders said.

“Time after time, you instated closure after closure on charedi cities. They never bore fruit, otherwise, we would all support them and do everything in our power to implement them. Every such closure led to a breakdown of trust and a move backward in terms of [people’s] willingness to contract the virus or uphold public health regulations. When the barricades came down, we found ourselves back at the starting point,” they said.

The leaders accused Netanyahu of imposing selective punishment on the charedi public, and warned him that there would be consequences.

“We inform you that the charedi public will not forget the wrong done to us. We will not forget who signed off, time after time, labeling us as ‘spreaders of disease’ and enemies of the people, on selective punishment for so many families in the charedi sector,” the letter states.

“The decisions you made were without reason or public health benefit and were aimed directly at the charedi public. We see you as the only person responsible for these punitive steps, for the disrespect to tradition and our [role] as legitimate citizens of this country. We cannot remain silent any longer,” the letter says.




  1. If the chareidi community has indeed taken all of those measures, and is still suffering above-average morbidity/mortality rates, then it’s not Netanyahu who is engaged in selective punishment. It’s the RBSh”O. Which, by the way, was noted by HRH”G R’ Gershon Edelstein months ago.

  2. The selective punishment on the charedi public because they were the only ones who let themselves be led like sheep to the slaughter. Example: While most Bnei Brak residents were idiotically wearing masks and kept social distancing, testing, kapsulot and whatnot, 2 km away in Ramat Gan there was no social distancing no masks and business as usual, and neither did most people in Tel Aviv follow the govt’s directives.

  3. The chareidi public should learn from Meah Shearim Yidden how to deal with the government and stand strong, whether it’s giyus, corona or other matters that have to do with yiddishkeit or Torah learning. Corona shtuyot does not enter Meah Shearim and neither does Gamzu nor any of the authorities who wouldn’t dare start up with them. Their shuls and yeshivos never closed.


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