INTRODUCTION: Rabbi power was severely dented and orthodox Jews angered in Israel, when the Attorney General, Yitzhak Zamir ruled that the Chief Rabbi, Shlomo Goren had no power to ban an archaeological dig at a site believed to be an ancient Jewish cemetery.Archaeologists working at the site near the walls of Jerusalem's old city have been violently harassed in recent months.
GV & SV Jail in Jerusalem. (2 SHOTS)
SV Orthodox Jews gathered outside jail.
SV Women outside jail.
GV Car with prisoners surrounded by cheering crowd. (3 SHOTS)
GV Zealots on roof of car others clapping and cheering.
TV Crowds gathered in square in Mea Shearim.
SV Zealots dancing in streets. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Rabbi power was severely dented and orthodox Jews angered in Israel, when the Attorney General, Yitzhak Zamir ruled that the Chief Rabbi, Shlomo Goren had no power to ban an archaeological dig at a site believed to be an ancient Jewish cemetery.Archaeologists working at the site near the walls of Jerusalem's old city have been violently harassed in recent months.
SYNOPSIS: Eighteen members of the ultra religious Netorei Karta sect were released from jail to be greeted by thousands of cheering co-religionists.The prisoners were arrested during recent violent demonstrations at the City of David Archaeological Dig in Jerusalem.
The car containing the prisoners was surrounded by exuberant crowds.The incidents has led to many orthodox Jews demanding that religious edicts be given the force of law.Many of them feel that the site should be left untouched, since they believe it contains ancient Jewish graves and that these are being desecrated by the excavation.Since the enhanced power won by the religious parties in the recent Israeli elections, the matter has given Mr.Begin's government some cause for concern.Mr.Begin promised a string of undertakings on religious legislation to ensure his majority in the Knesset (Parliament).
The cheering zealots followed the route of the car to Mea Shearim, the religious neighbourhood.The increasing political power of the Rabbis has been watched with some apprehension by Israel's non-religious majority.They fear that stricter observance of all Jewish Law will be forced up them.The Minister of Education and Culture, Zevulun Hammer, had upheld the Rabbis' demands that the dig be stopped.
Thousands gathered in the square in Mea Shearim where many of the zealots life to welcome the released prisoners.the Israeli Supreme Court has given permission for the dig to go ahead, but the sect recognises neither the court ruling nor the government of Israel.They believe that the State of Israel is a blasphemy because there should be no Israel until the Messiah returns to lead Jews to it.They were both anti-Zionist and anti-government.The ultra orthodox sects are planning a ceremony to heap all the curses ever invoked by Jews on their enemies on the head of one of the archaeologists involved in the dig.