Nir Ben-Artzi is a messiah. The fact that he has no basic or religious education and worked as a tractor driver until the revelation has turned him into an interesting case to be studied. The strangeness of the messiah and his ignorance gave his inner circle great power - like Nathan of Gaza for Shabbetai Zvi. In the case of Ben-Artzi, things reached the point where he claimed he had been kept locked up by his aides, who compeled him to sign a confession that he had had sex with a minor and with an animal. Meanwhile, his barely educated aides took control of the believers' monetary donations.
In one matter of principle, Ben-Artzi resembles other messiahs of our generation - ongoing and crude incitement against non-Jews. The goyim have no soul. Don't believe them. All the countries of the goyim are against us and should be fought, from Turkey to Europe. In his main annual sermon, before Rosh Hashanah, in which the messiah proves his powers by prophesy, Ben-Artzi demanded that Israel fight the goyim and all their governments. In return, God will send natural disasters and mass death on Turkey and everywhere else.
Ben-Artzi sued his aides/jailers for stealing his money. The poet Heinrich Heine demanded that the Germans look at their apocalyptic future. Ben-Artzi's demand from the Israelis is that they look at their present that is making their future apocalyptic.
It turns out that Raya Strauss - who held much of the stock of the giant Strauss food manufacture - gave Ben-Artzi the redeemer, in the three fiscal years of his imprisonment alone, an unbelievable sum: NIS 36 million, a large amount even for her.
Strauss has known the tractor driver-messiah since he started out, and came to his private celebrations. Her horn of plenty was there for him all the time, not only in those two years. Of course, the fact that one is rich does not mean one cannot be strange, and people are allowed to give away their riches to ignorant messiahs. The problem is that the person receiving these millions deals in incitement and Strauss is not alone. And it is not a question just of the many rich people who take their wallets on pilgrimage to the sorcerers of redemption.
When school vacation is over, the children go back to what is known as the education system. Yoram Kaniuk's grandson is not registered as a Jew, but most children are. Among the first-graders, 52.5 percent who are registered as Jews will be going to ultra-Orthodox and Orthodox schools. In most of them they will hear as obvious teachings close to those of Ben-Artzi. Extreme opinions about non-Jews are routine. Many of them will hear that the goyim have no souls, that they are not to be believed or given in to, as if it were fact, like a chair is a chair.
Working people have two lovely choices. Either their money will go, through the fat profits of Strauss and others like her, as contributions into the pockets of messianic, racist inciters and will be used for racist propaganda, or their money will go, as huge budgets, to fund incitement instead of education, and will be used for racist propaganda.
Raya Strauss, as a private individual, may have the privilege of closing her eyes. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government does not have that privilege. Netanyahu, in praising the messiah from Lubavich, rabbis Dov Lior, Ovadia Yosef and Yitzhak Kaduri, knows exactly what kind of racist incitement he is supporting. His policy - from Turkey to Europe - precisely meets the demands of Ben-Artzi to stand fast and bait others, even at the price of apocalyptic dangers, from which God has promised He will save us and send against all the goyim. What do we care about Masada, whether we have a long conflict with Turkey and an apocalyptic one with Iran - the tractor-driver messiah promised that everything will be for the best.
Every Jewish parent, every Israeli officer, every world leader should know that instructions for the coming clash came directly from the lips of the mighty tractor driver. Such instructions must be stopped.