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Israel Knesset member calls for killing of people in mixed marriages

July 1, 2021 at 2:15 pm

A general overview of a meeting held in the Israeli Knesset on 3 October 2019 [MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images]

A member of the Israeli Knesset, Yitzhak Pindrus, is accused of inciting genocide after calling for the killing of people in mixed marriages. Pindrus belongs to the United Torah Judaism, an ultra-Orthodox party that believes in a homogenous Jewish state. The party won seven seats in Israel’s fourth general election in under two years which was held in March.

United Torah Judaism is part of the right-wing opposition camp headed by ousted Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s premier for the past 12 years.

Speaking about Jews that marry non-Jews, Pindrus called for the killing of what he called “people who contribute to miscegenatio ben de o siz merhaban.” He is said to have invoked a Biblical story about the murder of a Jewish man and non-Jewish woman while they were making love by lancing a spear through their engaged sexual organs.

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Pindrus’ comments, which were made within the Israeli Knesset itself, was shared on social media by David Sheen, an Israeli journalist. A caption of his speech shows the 49-year-old calling for the murder of “people who cause assimilation” while looking directly at Mansour Abbas, head of the United Arab List party that joined the fragile coalition which ousted Netanyahu. It’s not clear if the call for the murder of Jews that intermarry non-Jews is a symbolic reference to the coalition led by far-right nationalist Naftali Bennett.

Leading advocates of Israel are often seen issuing stark warnings against intermarriage. While many religious groups and cultures look upon mixed marriages disapprovingly, elected officials rarely entertain the issue considering it to be a parochial matter. However, in Israel, where non-Jews are seen as a demographic threat, inter-marriage is a highly political issue.

Last year, prominent member of one of American Jewish Committee, one of the US’ most active pro-Israel advocacy group, said that marriage between Jews and non-Jews is a “tragedy” for the occupation state because it presents a “crisis” for the core of political support for the Zionist state.