[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA:
Tamir said Sunday evening that "Sadly, some people cannot distinguish
between politics and bereavement."
She can. She was there for politics.]
Stricken J'lem yeshiva: PM not welcome to visit
By Haaretz Service Last update - 22:59 09/03/2008
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was told on Sunday that he is not welcome to
visit the Mercaz Harav religious school in Jerusalem, where eight students
were killed Thursday when a Palestinian gunman opened fire on a crowded
The yeshiva informed Olmert of its decision in response to the prime
minister's request to visit the school in the wake of the attack.
In its message, the yeshiva said its decision was not final, but emphasized
that their wish was "to save him and us the embarrassment."
In an address to his followers on Sunday night, yeshiva head Rabbi Yaakov
Shapira, the head of the yeshiva, addressed his followers Sunday night,
saying that "under this hollow leadership, a strong government, which
reflects the real interests of the people, will arise."
"At these difficult times we must bring about the hidden strengths of the
entire nation, praise and practice the torah, and establish righteous and
rigorous education system for the sake of the whole public, until the
ministry which is in charge of the education in this country will get to the
very bottom of these strengths," Rabbi Shapira said.
He added that "our slain brothers are calling to us from this very soil.
Here, in this holy place, the blood of the best of our sons was shed. May
God avenge their deaths."
"When the torah is absent," Rabbi Shapira continued, "people do as they
like. When, God forbid, there is no faith in our righteousness, there is no
spiritual strength, and our physical strength is also deficient. This is why
we are constantly on the defense. I believe, like the rest of the public,
that the nation expects and yearns for a change of perception, of policy, of
action. The time is ripe. We are united."
Angry students cut short Tamir's visit to stricken yeshiva
Education Minister Yuli Tamir was ejected from the Mercaz Harav religious
school during her visit on Sunday, after students called her a "murderer"
and "Oslo criminal."
Tamir first visited the middle school, where students outside shouted at her
to leave. The school's head rabbis asked that Tamir discontinue her tour,
but she insisted on visiting the yeshiva high school as well.
Tamir met some 30 rabbis and students, who said the attack had made them
feel much less safe. During the hour-long meeting, Tamir's interlocutors
criticized government policies toward the national-religious sector, both
politically and in terms of funding.
"In spite of the disagreements, this is a sad time, when everyone feels love
and sympathy," Tamir told her listeners.
Some students protested Tamir's invitation, calling it "sycophancy."
During the meeting, dozens of students gathered outside the yeshiva to
protest her presence, saying she consistently "harasses the religious
A plastic bottle thrown towards the education minister hit one of her
security guards in the back. Tamir was escorted safely back to her vehicle
The head of the middle school, Rabbi Yerachmiel Weiss, told Haaretz after
the incident that "many students find the government's political prospects -
be it the division of Jerusalem or evacuating outposts, which for some means
being driven out of their homes - very distressing. While there were some
who slammed her visit, we told them everyone has the right to hold their own
worldview, and we were pleased that the minister came."
Tamir said Sunday evening that "outside the library people gathered. They
shouted, behaved inappropriately and ruined the atmosphere of grief. Sadly,
some people cannot distinguish between politics and bereavement."
"When I was invited, I didn't hesitate for a moment," Tamir added.
"Unfortunately, I feel that some people, hopefully only a handful, cannot
transcend their propensity for incitement, even in times of mourning."
Also on Sunday, six right-wing activists were detained Sunday afternoon en
route to the East Jerusalem mourning house of the perpetrator of Thursday's
A police squad declared the march an illegal gathering and detained several
Meanwhile, the Jewish Agency will start a drive this week to raise support
for Israel and its fight against terror among Jewish communities around the
world, following Thursday's attack.
Hundreds of JA and World Zionist Organization envoys will receive kits with
photographs of the attack and information material to hold memorial events
The campaign is also aimed to counter pro-Palestinian campaigns following
the IDF's operation in the Gaza Strip, which killed 120 Palestinians.
The Anti-Defamation League on Friday denounced as "shocking" the United
Nations Security Council's abstention from condemning Thursday's terror