Israeli Radio Host Suspended For Saying Frum Jews “Should Hang Themselves With Their Tefillin”

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Radio host Natan Zahavi. (Radio 103FM screenshot)

An Israeli radio host was suspended after he said that he’d be happy if frum Jews would “hang themselves with their tefillin.”

Natan Zahavi, who is known for his extremist statements and his vitriol against Yiddishkeit, said during his program on Radio 103FM“All these lowlifes quote me pessukim from the Tanach: Daven, put on tefillin, light Shabbos candles, separate challah, wear modest clothing. Get the heck out of here with the tznius and the challos and hadlakot neirot and the tefillin! I’d be happy if some of them would tie their tefillin around their necks and hang themselves with all that they do nothing but are public representatives.” 

Zahavi’s words raised a furor and were excoriated by right-wing politicians as well by the B’Tzalmo human rights organization, which stated: “We urgently appealed to the Commissioner of The Second Authority for Television and Radio with the demand to impose a huge financial fine on the station as well as to fire the broadcaster Natan Zahavi. For thousands of years, Jews were moiser nefesh for tefillin and the broadcaster is inciting and calling people to take their tefillin straps and kill themselves with them? Where have we come to in the State of Israel, the state of the Jews, that religious people and tefillin are denigrated like this?”

Radio 103FM responded to the furor, saying that it immediately suspended Zahavi: “The words that Natan Zahavi said today are blatant and insulting. It’s needless to say that they have no place in the station’s broadcasts and we condemn them in every way. Free speech also has red lines. The radio’s CEO made a decision to immediately suspend the broadcaster and keep him far away from the microphone until his statements are clarified, after which decisions will be made regarding his future.”

Source: (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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