Haredi MK Gafni nearly lynched on Yom Kippur eve for support of draft bill

United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni narrowly escaped violent demonstrators who tried to pull him out of his car and harm him Monday night at a protest outside his home in Bnei Brak.

The protesters from the Peleg Yerushalmi group that does not recognize the state were demonstrating against Gafni for his support of a proposed Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) conscription bill. They have been protesting regularly outside Gafni’s home.

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Demonstrators in Haredi garb called Gafni a murderer and tried to break the windows of his car. In a video first broadcast on the Behadrei Hadarim, the door of Gafni’s car is opened as demonstrators attacked the vehicle.

Police and bystanders helped Gafni escape unharmed.

The Councils of Torah Sages of UTJ’s Agudat Yisrael and Degel Hatorah parties and Shas are expected to meet immediately after the Succot holiday to decide how to handle the proposed legislation.

President Reuven Rivlin called Gafni to offer his encouragement and to tell him that such violence would not be tolerated.

Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein reached Gafni on the phone to make sure he was OK and said the rioters would not achieve anything with such methods.

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United Torah Judaism leader Yaakov Litzman also called Gafni to strengthen him and to thank him for what they do together to serve the public.

Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (Bayit Yehudi), called the attack “shocking and infuriating.” Ben-Dahan reminded the attackers that on Yom Kippur, sins between man and man are not atoned until the person they offended forgives them.

“They must ask Gafni for forgiveness and repent,” Ben-Dahan said.

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