Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz and Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich are slated to speak at an event this week in which extremist Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, who praised the settler responsible for the 1994 Hebron massacre, will be awarded a prize.
Ginsburgh will be honoured with a Torah creativity prize at the Torah symposium to be held on 8 August.
The US-born rabbi praised the actions of American-Israeli religious extremist, Baruch Goldstein, who in 1994 slaughtered 29 Palestinian Muslims at prayer and injured 120 at the Hebron Ibrahimi Mosque, or the Cave of the Patriarchs, which is a holy site in Islam and Judaism and a flashpoint for violence.
Ginsburgh is also among the rabbis who endorsed the book The King’s Torah, which discusses circumstances in which Jews may kill non-Jews according to Jewish law.
General Secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative, Dr Mustafa Barghouti told Palestine Monitor this award needs to be denounced.
It is shameful the Israeli government to award such a racist figure this honour. It should be condemned, Dr Mustafa Barghouti said.
The Times of Israel stated critics have accused Ginsburgh of fueling attacks by extremist Jews against Palestinians and other non-Jews in Israel and the West Bank.
Ginsburgh has previously referred to Arabs as a cancer, a remark that led to him being charged with incitement, but never convicted.
According to Haaretz, the prize will be awarded by the Jewish organisation Cathedra for Torah and Wisdom, which received in 2017 and 2018 approximately 25,000 shekels ($7,162) from the Education Ministry’s department for Jewish culture.
However, Haaretz stated that this year, the Education Ministry would not be funding this institution. Peretz’s spokesperson said the [education] minister is proud to attend the event, but added both he and the ministry were not involved in choosing the recipients of the awards.
Source: Palestine Monitor