High Court tells government to explain why it has not disciplined Jerusalem chief rabbi

Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Shlomo Amar speaks during Jerusalem Day celebrations in Jerusalem, June 2, 2019. (Aharon Krohn/Flash90)
Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Shlomo Amar speaks during Jerusalem Day celebrations in Jerusalem, June 2, 2019. (Aharon Krohn/Flash90)

The High Court of Justice issues a temporary injunction asking the government to explain why Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar has not faced disciplinary sanctions despite years of inciting remarks.

The injunction comes following an appeal from the Reform Movement, the Women of the Wall, and the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, citing years of hate speech.

The groups said they had appealed to the government 16 times in the last four years, but no action was taken. The position of city chief rabbi is a government-appointed position and he faces the same restrictions as other civil servants.

Earlier this year, Amar said it was “unbearable” that an openly gay man, Likud lawmaker Amir Ohana, was made Knesset speaker, calling the move an abomination.

In 2021, Amar compared the LGBTQ community to animals and mocked religious participants who take part in Pride Parades.

“They did the abomination parade, which they are supposedly proud of,” Amar said. “Wild animals don’t behave this way,” he added.

He has also called Reform Judaism more of a threat to the religion than secular Jews.

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