Michael Boyden

Israel Bonds – Shame on You

It is reported that Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich MK, will be addressing an Israel Bonds leadership meeting in Washington DC later this month.

Hundreds of rabbis have refused to offer him a platform. He is a self-declared “proud homophobe”, whose wife recently refused to share a room with an Arab woman, who had just given birth.

It will be recalled that two Israelis, Hillel Menachem and Yagel Yaakov Yaniv, were murdered by Palestinian terrorists as they drove on Route 60 through the West Bank town of Huwara. In an act of vengeance and to teach them a lesson, unruly settler vigilantes went on the rampage burning dozens of homes and cars. Smotrich remarked: “I think that Huwara needs to be wiped out.”

Following public criticism and international reaction to his comments, which sounded like a rallying cry to conduct a pogrom, Smotrich stated: “I think that Huwara needs to be wiped out, but the State of Israel needs to do it, most certainly not private citizens.”

Bezalel Smotrich is a far-right politician, who heads the Religious Zionist Party. He was arrested by Israel’s Security Agency, the Shin Bet, on suspicion of organizing violent Jewish nationalist activity.

A former deputy head of the Shin Bet security service reportedly told a political gathering that Smotrich was a “Jewish terrorist”, who planned to blow up cars on a major highway during the 2005 Gaza disengagement.

This is the man, whom Israel Bonds has invited to address its meeting in Washington DC. Many Israelis, and not only Israelis, will be asking themselves whether Israel Bonds has lost its moral compass.

About the Author
Made aliyah from the UK in 1985, am a former president of the Israel Council of Reform Rabbis and am currently rabbi of Kehilat Yonatan in Hod Hasharon, Israel.
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