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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Israeli Press Protesting VIP Treatment of Major Rabbis

It isn't clear why TheMarker, owned by Haaretz, is so upset with the special treatment awarded these rabbis, other than the fact that, in Israel's secular media market, mentioning a special treatment to religious leaders is like throwing a slab of red meat to a pack of dogs.

It isn't clear why TheMarker, owned by Haaretz, is so upset with the special treatment awarded these rabbis, other than the fact that, in Israel's secular media market, mentioning a special treatment to religious leaders is like throwing a slab of red meat to a pack of dogs.
Photo Credit: Illustration image by Yaakov Naumi/Flash90

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TheMarker, the online economic magazine published by Haaretz is annoyed by the fact that some 45 major Israeli rabbinical figures enjoy the VIP treatment at Ben Gurion Airport. This VIP service includes private car access to the plane and customs and border registration in the car.

It isn’t clear why the website is so upset with the special treatment awarded these rabbis, especially since, according to the same article, anyone can pay $260 to a private company and get exactly the same deal, including a ride home.

It must be the rabbi thing. For some reason, it irks this website that the Jewish State gives special honors to religious leaders like the Boyaner Rebbe, the Bostoner Rebbe, the Karliner Rebbe, the great posek Rabbi Aharon Shteinman, Rabbi Abuhatzeira. The list includes 47 names, although one of them, the late Rav Ovadia Yosef, is no longer enjoying these special perks.

It turns out that the list includes the names of a couple of rabbis who are currently in trouble with the law. Of course, none of the Israeli politicians receiving special treatment wherever they turn up have been under police investigation.

But in Israel’s secular media market, mentioning a special treatment to people who are often the leaders of communities of many thousands, with wealthy and influential followers, is like throwing a slab of red meat to a pack of dogs.

The website concludes that this must be part of a quid pro quo between the airport and the Haredi parties in the Knesset: they turn a blind eye on the fact that the airport duty free shops operate on Shabbat and sell chometz on Pesach, and in return the rebbes get to ride a private car to the plane.

That’s because the honor awarded major rabbis must be rooted in something dirty. In a country where respect to the other is such a rare commodity, how else could you explain it?

Here’s the list of VIP rabbis, courtesy of Israel’s Airport Authority.

ben gurion vip rabbi list

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About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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6 Responses to “Israeli Press Protesting VIP Treatment of Major Rabbis”

  1. Stephen Flatow says:

    For $260 you do not get private car access to the plane and customs and border registration in the car. You cut ahead of some lines, but you're still facing the customs booth and the trapped worker inside.

  2. Eli Benmord says:

    Why the (F) is the marker so upset ,is it pure jalousie or watt anti orthodox ? I wood not like to comment or watt I thing of the Marker just as anti Jewish as Haarezt news

  3. Ronny Mol says:

    Boycott Haaretz and the marker. How do you hurt a secular person, take away the one thing most important, thieir money. A secular person doesn't care about nothing else as much as money. I was one, so I know the crowd.

  4. I understand the very old Rabbis BUT the same conveniences and honor should be given to ALL very old people. No one has said anything about NOT spending the money on the Rabbis (who are suppose to be servants to their flocks) and send said money to Israeli orphanages and elderly Holocaust survivors going hungry in Israel right now. I respect ALL Rabbis BUT get your own ride home and feed a hungry person for a month. By the way, I"m almost 78yrs old, not a young air head.

  5. Yechiel Baum says:

    where does Haaretz stand on protocol for the pope when he comes to Israel or is it self hatred? he SEEMS TO BE WRITING FOR A GERMAN PAPPER.

  6. Mary Hale says:

    what is wrong with the press in Israel..Haaretz will not grace my computer..

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