Comic: Let Haredim Kill Each Other

January 21, 2015  

Yael Kliger, a resident of Betar Illit and an activist for dialogue between different sectors in Israel, has sent a letter to the Attorney General asking him to open an investigation against comedian Orna Banai and Channel 2 television, on suspicion of incitement to racism and violence.

Kliger’s complaint follows Thursday evening’s broadcast of comedy show Matzav Hauma – “The State of the Nation” – in which Banai, a regular on the show, said:

“Haredi society is more eroded and divided than ever, but they are our brothers, and that is why it is important to enlist them [to the army], to give them a structure and proper training, and a profession for life, and weapons – and let them kill each other.”

Banai’s statement is “incitement to violence against the haredi public, and is clearly hurtful to an entire sector,” wrote Kliger. She also said that the statement constituted incitement to racism.

The term “racism” is used in Israel regarding any policy, statement or action that demeans people on the basis of their group identity – including religious identity.

“In the time we live in, we are under an attack of hatred anyway,” wrote Kliger. “I would expect those who make a living from using the microphone to place red lines before themselves and not fan the flames of hatred.”

Banai recently came under fire from nationalists during the summer’s war in Gaza, when she spoke out against the war. In response to the attacks upon her, she said that it is “shameful that this is my nation.”

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