Affiliates of Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak, an ultra-Orthodox Sephardi leader who’s running for Knesset in the coming elections, filed a complaint with police Tuesday after Shas party activists allegedly sprayed tear gas at him and his followers at an event Monday night. Yitzhak, the head of the Koah Lehashpia (“Ability to Influence”) party, claimed that leaders of the rival ultra-Orthodox list had given the activists a tacit “green light” to attack him.Disgusting, and a classic textbook example of how not to run a campaign or be persuasive.
The incident comes amid rising tension between Yitzhak and Shas, which considers the rabbi as a thorn in its side, because his support base draws heavily from that of the Shas voter pool. Leaders of Shas have had a series of spats with Yitzhak in recent weeks, and Yitzhak claimed he has needed bodyguards since receiving threats from Shas party members.
At some point during Monday night’s event, dozens of participants felt a sudden burning sensation in their eyes. Yitzhak was transferred to a side room, and emergency medical teams arrived to care for the victims.
Update: on a related note, Deborah Danan's written on the Jerusalem Post about how some Shas supporters have been alarmingly abusive of Rabbi Chaim Amsellem.