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Monday, September 23, 2013 

Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef breaks the law

The son of rabbi Ovadia Yosef, spiritual leader of the Shas party, violated laws prohibiting political campaign involvement by appearing at a rally in Bnei Brak:
Only a week after being crowned with the honorific "rishon lezion," the newly elected chief Sephardic rabbi may be facing a run-in with Israeli law. This past Saturday night, Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef participated in a political rally for Shas in Bnei Brak marking the beginning of the local elections -- in violation of the law.

...according to clause 42.322 of the civil service regulations, Yosef was not allowed to participate in the rally at all because he is considered to be "a state employee, who ranks as one of the four highest positions in the administrative leadership." As such, he is subject to the "prohibition of participation in the public gatherings of political parties or of any political body as a lecturer on any topic, due to the fact that the appearance of the employee on a party stage may create the impression of party affiliation," as is written in the regulations.

A response from Shas stated, "This was an event for the municipality of Bnei Brak and was funded by the municipality. There was no mention of Shas at the event or in the publicizing of the event."

Yet pictures from the event show differently -- there was a huge sign posted with the Shas slogan: "Et achai anochi mevakesh" ("I seek my brethren"). According to an eyewitness, during the event, organizers realized that this was a political event that could complicate things for the chief rabbi, so they placed a white piece of paper over the letters reading "Shas" on the banner.
It makes no difference, it's still a political rally, and concealing their logo won't change anything. I hope the law does confront him about this seriously. Yosef is just another of his kind who has no true respect for Israeli laws.

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