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Israel ministers to speak at event honouring far-right rabbi

Bezalel Smotrich, Extremist Israeli Jewish MK [Atbannett/Wikipedia]
Israeli Transportation Minister [Atbannett/Wikipedia]

Two Israeli ministers will speak at a conference this week which will also honour a notorious right-wing rabbi who praised a 1994 massacre of Palestinian worshippers in Hebron, reported Haaretz.

Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz and Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich will speak at the event on Thursday, during which a prize will be awarded to Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh.

According to the paper, US-born rabbi Ginsburgh "is known for publishing a pamphlet praising the actions of religious extremist Baruch Goldstein", the perpetrator of the Hebron massacre.

In addition, "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".

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The prize will be awarded under the auspices of an institution called the "Cathedra for Torah and Wisdom", which received 25,000 shekels in 2017 and 2018 from the Education Ministry.

Two weeks ago, Haaretz reported, Smotrich tweeted that Ginsburgh is "a genius" with a body of work of "incomprehensible scope". Peretz's spokesperson, meanwhile, said the minister is proud to attend the event.

According to publicity material for the Thursday event, "Peretz would be speaking at the opening of the conference, and Ginsburgh would receive his award at the end", while "Smotrich is to speak during the award ceremony itself".

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