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Israeli Politicians Condemn Haaretz in Response to Op-Ed


Netanyahu calls for an apology, while Defense Minister Lieberman calls for a boycott in response to an opinion piece on the 'religious Zionist' movement. Haaretz: Author was referring to the movement, not individuals

Israeli politicians, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin, condemned Thursday an Op-Ed published in Haaretz's Hebrew edition by Yossi Klein in which he wrote that the 'religious Zionists' are more dangerous to Israel than Hezbollah.

Netanyahu called on Haaretz to apologize, writing on his Facebook page that "the article in Haaretz is shameful and bizarre. They've lost it completely. The religous Zionist public in Israel is the salt of the land."

President Reuven Rivlin also criticized the article, calling Klein's remarks hateful statements. "Religious Zionism is an inseparable part of this land, better and more deeply rooted than all its detractors," he said.

In his op-ed, Klein wrote: "Religious Zionists are dangerous. They’re more dangerous than Hezbollah, hit-and-run drivers or girls with scissors. Arabs can be neutralized; religious Zionists can’t.

"What do they want? To take over the country and cleanse it of Arabs. If you ask them, they’ll deny it. They know it’s premature to be so candid. But don’t believe their denials 

"Their religious nationalism is extreme nationalism wrapped in hypocritical fear of heaven. It percolates through the education system, grows stronger in the army and even affects the Supreme Court. They’re already headed our way; in another moment they’ll be breaking down the door.

"They call themselves 'religious Zionism,' dripping with virgin oil and honey. That’s their flak jacket. Under its shield, they do contemptible deeds while casting their eyes heavenward.

"They are focused; only seizing control and expulsion interest them. Talk to them about “social gaps” and they’ll yawn; talk to them about the housing crisis and they’ll giggle. Housing crisis? Not for them. They won’t invite the homeless to come live in the beautiful houses they built at half price. They don’t want them there. They’re the elite, and the elite don’t want neighbors like that.

"The elite have changed, but not the system: Ashkenazi Jews on top, Mizrahi Jews on the bottom. They won’t mix with the Mizrahim. It’s not clear that MK Bezalel Smotrich’s wife would even agree to give birth next to them."

Education Minister and Habayit Hayehudi ("The Jewish Home") leader Naftali Bennett strongly criticized Klein and Haaretz. "Even when you think Haaretz has reached the bottom of the barrel, it manages to surprise you and reach a new low. Not the religious Zionists, not the leftists, not the Arabs, no group in Israel deserves such a devilish and inciting indictment. Before it ends in bloodshed, Haaretz, stop. You should be ashamed."

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called for a Haaretz boycott: "I call on Israelis to stop buying and stop reading Haaretz immediately. The fact that Haaretz decided to publish this article proves that the newspaper has lost its way, and that their hatred of everything Jewish and Israeli has pushed them over the edge of sanity."

Yair Lapid, head of the centrist Yesh Atid party, claimed the article was "a classic anti-Semitic text," and asked how renowned rabbis from the religious Zionist movement could possibly be considered more dangerous than Hezbollah. 

Opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog also condemned the article, saying that the people are fed up with generalizations.

Haaretz responded to the aricle, saying that "Yossi Klein sought to warn of the dangerous direction in which Israel is being led by the religious Zionist movement, which today rules the government and sees itself as a leading force in Israeli society. In his opinion, the internal danger to Israel is more serious than the external threats, to which there is a security response. His remarks referred to the rabbinical and political leadership that speaks on behalf of the movement and not to everyone with a religious Zionist outlook."


read more: 2017 04 13 alle 22.14.02

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Video of the Week: Recent Israel History Miko Peled

Transcription made from The Miko's Speeches

This is a beautiful church so once again thank you to the pastor for allowing us to use this is really beautiful and thank you all for being here tonight and and for caring enough to take the time and listen and participate and be active I always begin my remarks with a disclaimer and that disclaimer is this if anybody here came hoping to hear a balanced presentation then they're going to be sorely disappointed I say this because a lot of things that you're about to hear tonight are difficult to hear and also because I don't believe that a balanced presentation on this topic is possible anybody that cares enough to speak about this probably has a very strong opinion one way or the other almost everybody has feelings and strong emotions on this issue one way or the other for me it's deeply personal and the issue itself is not a balanced issue there is no balance in this issue so therefore I say this because there cannot be a balanced presentation on this and I think if anybody claims that their presentation is balanced they're either misleading themselves or the misleading of their audience this whole issue of Israel and Palestine is covered in so much myth and there's so much there's so much double standard when people talk about this issue and I'll give you two examples

Don't know if you heard Bibi Netanyahu speech at the United Nations I heard it not live but after he actually delivered it and he began and he began it with probably the two most striking examples of myth and double standard and he began by talking about the right of return of the Jews to their ancient homeland and of course the Jews that returned so-called returned to their homeland were not exactly the the same Jews who were expelled from their homeland right because these were expelled a couple of thousand years before that these were not their descendants either because they this is business has been a very long time so these are people the people that actually came back so to speak are people that claim some kind of a heritage some kind of a connection a relationship to the ancient Hebrews and they claimed that they had the right to return to their homeland and this was this is what Zionism was about and this is expected this was you know accepted by the world as the right they had the right to return now if we talk about the right of return of one nation you'd expect that there would be if we accept it as a principle than

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