Shas Minister Refused Donation of Fire Equipment from Christian Group

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews has stated Interior Minister Eli Yishai refused to accept donations from pro-Israel Christians and thus denied the underfunded Fire and Rescue Service much needed equipment. Yishai, is the same minister who echoed Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s recent words stating that the Carmel fire was a result of insufficient Shabbat observance in the area.

from The Jerusalem Post:

Israeli firefighters could have received a shipment of brand new fire trucks that would have helped quell the fires that raged over the weekend on Mount Carmel, killing 41 people and turning tens of thousands of dunams into an ashen wasteland.

… Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, which raises money for Israel among Christian supporters in North America, said his organization’s ties with the Interior Ministry were severed after it was taken over by the ultra-Orthodox minister two years ago.

Eckstein said Yishai’s religious-based rejection of contributions from non-Jewish sources led to the termination after the group had completed delivery of eight fire trucks last year in a donation that had been okayed by Yishai’s predecessor, MK Meir Sheetrit (Kadima).

… Fire and rescue officials confirmed that they had received the eight trucks from Eckstein’s organization but said they were unaware that additional vehicles had been offered and refused.