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Israel’s ‘Evangelical’ Jewish Fundamentalist, Bezalel Smotrich, Comes to Washington

Israel's Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, known for his extremist views and literal interpretation of the Bible, visits Washington.
©Andrea Izzotti/
©Andrea Izzotti/
Dr. Tomer Persico is a Research Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute. He was the Koret Visiting Assistant Professor of Jewish and Israel Studies at U.C. Berkeley, where he was also a Senior Research Scholar in the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Dr. Persico is a social activist advocating for freedom of religion in Israel. A leading thinker about secularization, Jewish Renewal and forms of contemporary spirituality, Persico writes the most popular blog in Hebrew

“As Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich heads to Washington today, his statements in support of “erasing” the Palestinian village of Hawara still echo off the walls of the State Department and numerous Jewish organizations, all of whom have made it clear that they will not meet with him during his visit.

Even the right-leaning AIPAC will not greet Israel’s finance minister. His awkward and halfhearted attempts to backtrack only cemented that this Israeli government is – and America’s reception of it – is like none we have ever seen.”

Read the full op-ed in Haaretz

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