MK Hendel Dubs U.S. Ambassador Jewboy'

MK Zvi Hendel called U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer "a jewboy" yesterday, prompting a wave of protests by other MKs, who will convene the house ethics committee this morning to discuss the issue.

Gideon Alon
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Gideon Alon

MK Zvi Hendel called U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer "a jewboy" yesterday, prompting a wave of protests by other MKs, who will convene the house ethics committee this morning to discuss the issue.

The National Union MK was protesting against the Jewish ambassador's reported comment that Israel prefers investing in the settlements rather than in the handicapped.

Speaking from the Knesset floor, Hendel said that "irrespective of the fact that this is a representative of a foreign country, who can be Jewish or a jewboy, religious or not religious, the state of Israel should not ignore the intervention of a little jewboy who represents the U.S."

"I think that if we were a proud state, we would point this out to him and to the country that sent him, because I have no doubt that American support for Israel and the Jews is a thousand times greater than Ambassador Kurtzer's empathy," he added.

Kurtzer is a modern Orthodox Jew, the first religious Jew to serve as a U.S. ambassador to Israel, and only the second Jew to serve in the position, after Martin Indyk. The late minister Rehavam Ze'evi, also of the National Union Party, referred in the past to Indyk as a "jewboy."

The embassy and Kurtzer refused to comment on the affair, but an embassy source was quoted last night as saying that Hendel's remarks "are indicative of his character."

The Prime Minister's office said that Hendel's remarks should be "roundly condemned," while Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, in India, said that the remarks "were disgraceful and intolerable. Jews, too should not use anti-Semitic phrases."

Hendel was following in the tradition of previous right-wing spokesmen, including members of his own Gush Emunim (a settlement movement), who routinely referred to then-U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger as a "jewboy" when he tried to press for a disengagement of forces agreement between Israel and Egypt after the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Knesset Ethics Committee Chair Colette Avital (Labor) vehemently denounced Hendel's remarks, and has called a session of the committee for today to discuss what she called "a racist statement that could only incite anti-Semitism. In the name of national pride, Hendel besmirched a person of stature and a Jewish supporter of Israel, and displayed the ugly face of the Knesset." She demanded that Hendel apologize.

MK Yossi Sarid, leader of the opposition and chairman of the Meretz party, said he agrees with Kurtzer completely about investments in the settlements, "and if because of it Hendel were to now call me a jewboy, I'd wear the insult proudly."

Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Melchior, a rabbi, said that Hendel had disgraced the honor of the Knesset and harmed the Jewish people.

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed

AIPAC

AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op

Palestinians search through the rubble of a building in which Khaled Mansour, a top Islamic Jihad militant was killed following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza strip, on Sunday.

Gazans Are Tired of Pointless Wars and Destruction, and Hamas Listens to Them