An ugly incident took place during the funeral of Rav Ovadia Yosef Monday: two senior Jewish Home party members, Housing Minister Uri Ariel and Deputy Religious services Minister Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan, were attacked by a number of Haredi youths who yelled at them and cursed them out, Srugim reported.
The past few weeks have seen a deliberate campaign on the part of Haredi rabbis, led by Sephardi Rabbi Shalom Cohen, to vilify the Jewish Home leadership, calling them “wicked,” “liars” and “Amalek” (a mythical nation fighting the Jews and God since Torah time).
Both leaders found shelter in a mobile broadcast unit belonging to the religious radio station Kol Baramah, where they watched the eulogies from safety, until their attackers had left the area.
Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett wrote in his Facebook page that Rav Ovadia was one of the greatest spiritual leaders of our nation in the last generation, a paradigm of halachic sensitivity, had the merit of making halacha accessible to the masses and for close to 70 years led the people of Israel.
Deputy Education Minister Avi Wurtzman said: “Despite his association with a specific political faction, his greatness was in the fact that his rulings and his spiritual leadership influenced many parts of the public, of the entire political spectrum. May his memory be blessed.”