Communications Minister to Charedi Leaders On “Kosher” Phone Controversy: ‘This is FOR You, Not Against You’ [VIDEO]

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LEFT: Israel’s Minister of Communications Yoaz Hendel (Photo by Flash90), RIGHT: Kosher Phone

ISRAEL (VINnews) — In a rare confrontation Monday, Yoaz Handel, Israel’s Minister of Communications, met with Charedi leaders across a wide spectrum to discuss a hot-button issue.

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The meeting comes as tensions have flared, due to Handel’s recent attempts to interfere with the kashrus of cell phones. Specifically, he’s tried to limit the capabilities of cellular providers to place blocks on “kosher” phones, which has outraged the Charedi community.

According to Kan News, Handel told the Rabbonim: “What we do – no matter how the media depicts us – is not against Judaism and the Charedim, it’s for their benefit.”

He added, “Many Chareidim have non-kosher phones. Do you want to bury your head in the sand? I worry about every Israeli, whether from Eida Chareidis, votes Shas, UTJ, even if he has no political connection to me. Why? Because he is an Israeli citizen and my brother and I worry about him. The People of Israel are responsible for each other.

“I respect you very much, but I feel comfortable sitting and telling you that I worry about my children just the same as you worry about your children – in exactly the same measure,” Hendel said. “We need to look at the details, and in the end, the real argument on the table is how we relate to the State of Israel, and if the State can regulate what happens within it.”

Participants in the meeting included the Vizhnitz Rebbe, Rabbi Reuven Elbaz, senior adviser to Shas, Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, Rosh Yeshiva of Mir, and Rabbi Moshe Tzedaka, head of Porat Yosef.


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