Friday, October 28, 2011
Jewish spiritual guru Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto backs Israel social protests
Social protest leaders say Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto called on his community to join the rally on Saturday night; Pinto's inner circle denies this.
Leaders of Israel’s social protest movement said on Wednesday that Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto, the spiritual guru of the rich and famous, has voiced his support for the protests that swept up Israel over the summer.
“I support the social protest with all my heart and feel great pride that women are leading this protest that is unlike anything in the history of Israel,” the rabbi said according to protest leaders.
Pinto allegedly continued, saying “the situation in Israel is very bad. A reality has emerged in which whoever is born rich can live respectfully and in opulence, and everyone else must deal with large debts to the banks and endless work to make up for their overdraft.”
The spiritual leader lamented the widespread poverty in Israel, and the neglect of the underprivileged throughout the country. “This is a situation that must change,” he allegedly said.
Pinto allegedly called the social protests a turning point for Israeli society. He then allegedly addressed the members of his community, Shuva Yisrael, imploring them to do everything possible to help the continuing social protests “for the sake of a better future for the nation of Israel”.
Members of the rabbi’s inner circle denied that Pinto offered his support, saying that the spiritual leader never called for his community to join the protests this coming Saturday night.
“The protest leaders came to receive a blessing before the holiday, and heard very difficult things from the rabbi about the rifts in (Israeli) society and the indifference there is toward the weak.”
The rabbi’s followers said that Pinto called for a change in the system that has created such a large lower class. The rabbi responded to allegations he had called on his community to participate in the social protests, saying “I don’t get involved in political issues.”
The rabbi added that everything must be done in unity and out of love for the people of Israel.
Rabbi Pinto has an extensive following, and has been visited by many influential people including opposition leader Tzipi Livni, Israeli pop diva Rita and business tycoon and billionaire Nochi Dankner.