Oct 20, 2009

the anti-Benizri syndrome

I don't know who is "at fault", but some people are creating a lot of false hopes, and then shrying when they do not come to fruition.

Rav Shlomo Benizri, a former MK from Shas, is sitting in jail for corruption and taking bribes. Even if you say he was framed or his sentence was too harsh, as his most ardent supporters say, he is still in jail and is treated with the rules of all prisoners.

In the haredi media and forums, we are regularly being told that he is being abused by the Prison Services in this way or that. He is not being beaten by them, nor is he being overworked, and he has not been put in solitary confinement for no reason or anything like that. The abuse is in the form of him not getting special treatment.

Benizri's son just had a baby. Some people were expecting him to be allowed out of jail to go to the bris. The Prison Services said they will not allow it, as he only just started serving his term and they never let a prisoner out so early in his term.

Yet the haredi media is calling it "the abuse continues" and other similar descriptions.

Benizri deserves no special treatment just because he is a)from Shas b) haredi c) a popular teacher in the sfardi haredi world. He is in jail, and even if his sentence was too harsh as some are wont to say, that is no reason to give him special treatment. We heard complaints that he was not allowed to dress in regular clothes when he was visited first by his family and then by Rav Ovadia Yosef. We heard complaints when he was not allowed out for an earlier simcha in the family, etc.

Some people need to get it through their heads that Benizri is sitting in jail and is no longer in the Knesset. You don't automatically get special privileges in jail, just because of who you used to be on the outside pre-jail. And denying such a request is not really abuse and does not indicate anyone is anti-haredi or anti-Benizri.


  1. Amen. It's a bit disturbing to think what this means for the rule of law in Israel. How do we as a society promote respect for law and collective disapproval for those who break it? In the culture of I'm-not-a-fryer, that's hard to do, but even more important.

  2. I still can't comprehend how people are given "vacations" from Israeli jails.

  3. yoni - in the US they also have furlough programs....

  4. tthe good news is that it does not seem shas has been able to capitalize on this polilitically like w/ deri

    your average joe knows the guilt here is compelling and a few nutjobs who are rak shas ad hasof wont have too much impact


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