- The attorney is the official in charge of approving government budget allocations to private schools.
- He had blocked allocations to haredi schools because, as I reported yesterday, the haredi schools do not teach the required core curriculum mandated by law.
- Haredi newspapers and media outlets had vilified the attorney over the past several weeks because of this.
- The incident started in the committee meeting when the haredi MK harshly and personally criticized the attorney.
- The haredi MK, Rabbi Yakov Cohen, told the attorney – whose family fled the Nazis and whose family suffered greatly during the Holocaust – that he was "more evil and terrible than the Nazis." A part of the attorney's family was murdered at Auschwitz.
As noted yesterday, haredim do not as a rule engage in civil discourse. They demonize opponents, use the most reprehensible forms of slander and insult, and are routinely shocked when similar invective is heaped on them. I noted yesterday that the core curriculum haredim refuse to teach includes civics.
The attorney issued a public apology and then took a leave of absence. Before removing himself, at least temporarily, from public life, the attorney told Israel radio:
"[MK Cohen} said this to a man, part of whose family perished in Aushwitz and whose father suffered the horrors of the Holocaust for four consecutive years," De Hartog told Israel Radio.
"This is what a member of the Knesset - and a rabbi - said to a Jew."
And the 'injuries' suffered by that hareidi rabbi and MK? As I noted yesterday, his face showed no sign of injury, no bruising or redness of any kind. What was wrong with the MK? This:
[MK]Cohen was taken to the Knesset clinic where he was treated for high blood pressure and was later taken to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital for further examinations.
After screaming at the attorney, calling him names, provoking a fight and then getting slapped, the rabbi was found to have elevated blood pressure. What a surprise.
Photograph: MK Rabbi Yakov Cohen