MK Elazar Stern (Hatnua) will receive his own security detail, police decided Monday, in response to increasing threats against the parliamentarian, Channel 2 reported.
Less than two weeks ago, Stern was spit on by a 17-year-old as he left the synagogue in his hometown of Mitzpe Hoshaya. Stern reported that the youth said to him, “This is for Rabbi Dov Lior,” during the incident. Lior is a prominent national-religious rabbi whom Stern had earlier denounced for saying that Ethiopians in Israel were not actually Jews.
After his criticism of Lior, Stern was the target of a formal statement by a group of Orthodox rabbis, who called him a heretic who “dishonors the Torah.”
Stern, a retired general, also came under fire this week for introducing a bill that would allow local rabbis to oversee conversions. Under the terms of the measure, a city rabbi could convene a beit din, or rabbinical court, for conversions under his jurisdiction. The chief rabbis of Israel oppose the bill, saying it “puts the halachic [Jewish legal] validity of conversions in Israel at risk.”