Watch: Israeli-American on Bennett’s list for Knesset imagines blowing up Muslim holy site

on 29 Comments

Video has emerged (see above) that shows a candidate from the HaBayit HaYehudi party, or Jewish Home party, speaking to a church in Florida and contemplating what would happen if the Dome of the Rock was blown up in Jerusalem. The candidate is Jeremy Gimpel, an American-born Israeli.

+972 Magazine’s Noam Sheizaf posted the video yesterday after another Israeli journalist, Yehuda Nuriel, dug it up. Sheizaf writes: “Gimpel seems to want the Dome of the Rock to be blown up, making way for the third Jewish Temple. According to most recent polls, Gimpel is expected to enter the next Knesset.”

Gimpel was speaking to the Fellowship Church in Winter Springs, Florida. The church is a strongly Christian Zionist institution. “Our first steps in identifying with Israel included participation in cooperative, pro-Israel activities with the local Jewish community,” the church notes on their website.

I’ve transcribed the relevant portion of Gimpel’s speech; as he jokes about blowing up the Dome of the Rock, a Muslim holy site, you can hear the American crowd chuckle:

This is where it gets good. They lay the cornerstone of the temple in Jerusalem. You could imagine, imagine today, if the Dome, the Golden Dome–I’m being recorded so I can’t say blown up, but let’s say the Dome is blown up, right? And we laid the cornerstone of the Temple in Jerusalem. Can you imagine what it would, I mean, none of you would be here, you would all be like “I’m going to Israel,” right? No one would be here, it would be incredible.

And this was no anomaly. Sheizaf posts a second video today of Gimpel talking about why the Dome of the Rock “doesn’t belong where it is”:

Gimpel is no stranger to the mainstream Jewish community. He is a “scholar in residence” at Palm Beach Synagogue in Florida. An announcement for an event he did there shows up on the Jewish Federations of Palm Beach County website.

Sheizaf provides some context to Gimpel’s remarks:

Between the years 1982-1984, Israeli security services uncovered no less than three plans by Jewish extremists to blow up mosques on the Temple Mount. The most advanced was prepared by The Jewish Underground – a terror organization made up of settlers who were responsible for several murderous attacks on Palestinians across the West Bank. The Jewish Underground was caught in 1984 when its members attempted to place explosives under five Palestinian public buses in Jerusalem.

Gimpel is a member of the Jewish Home party, a right-wing party which has garnered tons of media attention in Israel and the U.S. Its leader is Naftali Bennett, an Israeli born to American parents. In a must-read post, The Palestine Center’s Yousef Munnayer summarizes the scary views of all the major Israeli candidates, including the Jewish Home party:

This coalition of parties bases its platform on strengthening the Jewish nature of the State of Israel, fighting those who wish to transform Israel into ‘a state of its citizens,’ while claiming to still uphold the rights of Israel’s minorities; desires to annex Area C and leave Areas A and B and Gaza under IDF control; will work towards complete separation between the West Bank and Gaza; will promote the settlement of all parts of the country, including the Golan Heights, making it a national priority; will work to incorporate Arab citizens in who recognize the Jewish State of Israel; and will enforce law and order in the Negev and Galilee to tackle Bedouin construction of homes while strengthening Jewish settlement construction in those regions. (Source)

1. Naftali Bennett

On the land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea:

“There is not going to be a Palestinian state within the tiny land of Israel… It’s just not going to happen. A Palestinian state would be a disaster for the next 200 years.” (Source)

2. Uri Ariel (MK)

On the Levy Report which would effectively annex the West Bank:

“One of the most worthy and just reports ever penned.” (Source)

3. Nissan Slomiansky (MK)

On the prospect of a new city for Arab citizens of Israel in the Galilee:

“It’s outrageous that while the government freezes the construction in Judea and Samaria and in Jerusalem, and fails to approve any additional Jewish community, the interior minister approves the establishment of an Arab city in the north. Then we hear claims about the Arabs being discriminated against and about the Galilee having no Jews. This is an irrational move and it should never have been approved.” (Source)

There’s a lot more where those came from, and it’s not just limited to the Jewish Home party. Gimpel’s casual contemplation of blowing up the Dome of the Rock shows you just how far-right the Israeli discourse has become.

About Alex Kane

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist who focuses on Israel/Palestine and civil liberties. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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29 Responses

  1. Allison Deger
    January 19, 2013, 12:34 pm

    “I can’t say ‘blown up’ because I’m being recorded. But let’s say the Dome of the Rock was blown up.”–>he should have really taken his own advice.

    • MHughes976
      January 19, 2013, 12:50 pm

      The rhetoric of not quite saying and not quite meaning. So dangerous so terrifying.

      • Elliot
        January 19, 2013, 5:02 pm

        That and the joking about prosletyzing. Rabbi Gimpel’s way of neutralizing Jewish concern about the fundies’ agenda for the Jews.
        He talks to them as if they were children. These Jews and Christian don’t respect each other; each is a tool in the other’s program.

    • American
      January 19, 2013, 3:35 pm

      Reminds me of the guy in Atlanta saying what if the Mossad assassinated Obama..they get bolder and bolder in their rhetoric.
      From my pov things everywhere are getting crazier faster…..the world is spinning like top out of whack, domestically and socially in the US and internationally….pushed by extremism groups and also what feels like some kind of frustrated anger barely under control in the rest of populations.

      • Blank State
        January 19, 2013, 10:25 pm

        Yes, Carrol. You have always seemed to me to be one who “gets it”. I think, even here at this site, you are way ahead of the majority here in understanding how close to the abyss we are being led by some very megalomaniacal and evil leadership, globally. This issue of Israel’s corrosive effect on our own governance and security is but a small part of the global deterioration of the social structure. Truly, mankind is in very deep shit, and the time for us to get our act together is running out.

    • Abierno
      January 19, 2013, 5:55 pm

      The act of blowing up the iconic, golden domed mosque on the Temple Mount
      would be akin to the Taliban act of blowing up the Bamiyan Buddhas. One should
      reflect on this analogy as reflective of the current primitive, tribal state of the right wing brand of zionism. I doubt seriously that this represents a mainstream of Jewish thought or action.

      • Blank State
        January 19, 2013, 10:28 pm

        “Mainstream” ideas are irrelevent if the people who hold the reins of power have ideas that are outside of the mainstream.

      • Abierno
        January 20, 2013, 1:42 pm

        Well said.

  2. MHughes976
    January 19, 2013, 12:49 pm

    Spinoza, say some, was the man drunk on God. These are people drunk on religious imagery, not always accompanied by religion. It’s not really about being right-wing in the sense of believing in free markets or in traditional values. I would suggest that for the moment it’s all talk, Israeli society not being anything like ready for a restoration of the Temple and all that it would imply, from animal sacrifices to a High Priest. People feel that they can indulge in all this talk because they don’t have to mean it, not really or not yet. But religious imagery soaks into your mind, just as the half-recognised imagery of ‘the Holocaust’, ie ‘the Sacrifice’, does with such massive effect. So how can the time not come when the Jewish State can no longer tolerate the fact that its far and away most important monument is not Jewish?

    • thankgodimatheist
      January 20, 2013, 6:22 am

      “It’s not really about being right-wing in the sense of believing in free markets or in traditional values.”
      That’s why they should be named for what they are: Far-right and fascists.

  3. DICKERSON3870
    January 19, 2013, 12:56 pm

    RE: “Gimpel [who coyly refers to the blowing up of the Al-Aqsa mosque] is no stranger to the mainstream Jewish community. He is a ‘scholar in residence’ at Palm Beach Synagogue in Florida. An announcement for an event he did there shows up on the Jewish Federations of Palm Beach County website.” ~ Weiss

    ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE JEWISH FEDERATIONS (THIS TIME HOUSTON): “Houston Jewish Federation, Jewish Agency Fund Im Tirzu’s Assault on Israeli Universities” ~ by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 3/17/10

    (EXCERPTS) What do the Houston Jewish federation, the Jewish Agency, John Hagee, and Im Tirzu have in common? They’re all either directly or indirectly funding a major assault on academic freedom on Israeli campuses. . .
    . . . The Israeli finance website, Calcalist, reports that John Hagee donated $120,000 to Im Tirzu in 2009 through the Jewish Agency. The money had been transferred to the [Jewish] Agency by the Houston Jewish Federation as part of an overall $5-million gift. $3-million of that came from [John Hagee’s] CUFI and went towards its largely pro-settler Israel philanthropy. Hagee passed the gift through the Agency in order to qualify for a U.S. tax deduction. . .
    . . . A second article in the Calcalist makes this important point:

    “The Jewish Agency [funded by the Jewish Federations with the help of John Hagee & CUFI ~ J.L.D.] supports organization’s from the Israeli lunatic right, which are attempting to destroy the values of academic freedom in Israeli higher education.”

    The Agency, a body whose mission it is to bring new immigrants to settle in the Holy Land, instead transfers very large sums to poisonous organizations which seek legitimacy in attacking academics who’ve actually done something in their lives, having not just written propaganda exposes divorced from any reality.
    The columnist concludes by noting the absolute insanity of the Jewish Agency [funded by the Jewish Federations with the help of John Hagee & CUFI ~ J.L.D.] providing funding to an organization that wishes to unleash the thought police on Israeli universities. . .


    • DICKERSON3870
      January 19, 2013, 1:12 pm

      P.S. RE: “Hagee passed the gift [to Im Tirzu] through the Agency in order to qualify for a U.S. tax deduction. . .” ~ Silverstein (from above)

      MY COMMENT: So the U.S. taxpayers are also funding an assault on academic freedom on Israeli campuses!

    • DICKERSON3870
      January 19, 2013, 1:29 pm

      RE: “Gimpel [who coyly refers to the blowing up of the Al-Aqsa mosque]” ~ me (above)

      CLARIFICATION: To be fair to Gimpel, he actually refers to the blowing up of the Dome of the Rock (691 CE), which I suppose could conceivably be “blown up” without also destroying the nearby Al-Aqsa Mosque (1055 CE).

    • DICKERSON3870
      January 19, 2013, 4:31 pm

      P.P.S. RE: “John Hagee donated $120,000 to Im Tirzu in 2009 through the Jewish Agency. The money had been transferred to the [Jewish] Agency by the Houston Jewish Federation as part of an overall $5-million gift. $3-million of that came from [John Hagee’s] CUFI and went towards its largely pro-settler Israel philanthropy. Hagee passed the gift through the [Jewish] Agency in order to qualify for a U.S. tax deduction. . .” ~ Richard Silverstein (from above)

      ALSO SEE: “Im Tirzu Steals Confidential Documents from Lawyer’s Office”, by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 1/19/13

      [EXCERPTS] In a deposition in a libel case brought by the far-right Israeli group, Im Tirzu, its director, Ronen Shoval, admitted that he hired private investigators (Hebrew and English) who obtained confidential legal documents about the defendants and transferred the documents to two far right Israeli newspapers. Michael Sfard, the Israeli human rights attorney defending the suit noted that his law office had been burglarized and documents stolen related to the case. All this means (and what follows are my own judgments, not those of the defendants or Sfard), that Ronen Shoval directed individuals to break and enter Sfard’s office and steal documents that were privileged and confidential. They also broke into the office of Yesh Din, whom Sfard represents. This also means that the two newspapers received such stolen documents, probably knowingly.
      The libel suit was brought by the highly litigious Shoval against those Israeli activists who created a Facebook page, Im Tirzu–Fascist movement–So There! The group’s claim is that calling it fascist constitutes libel because it is false and damaging to its reputation. Apparently, the group doesn’t think much of democratic values like free speech unless the values are ones THEY are exercising.
      In a circumambulation through the miasma of Jewish ultra-nationalism, Sfard questioned Shoval for three hours. Among other pearls of wisdom emanating from him were these notions: western culture is decadent, materialist and egotistical, Am Yisrael (the Jewish people) is a metaphysical entity and an organic vision of nationality. . .
      . . . Shoval confessed that he didn’t believe in unfettered freedom of speech: the law should prevent human rights organization from publishing statements or materials that endangered the State. You can imagine how sweeping the definition would be. . .
      . . .Im Tirzu is poison and Israeli society has been infected with this poison by its far-right ultranationalist ideology. . .
      Lest anyone argue that the Shovals of Israel are flukes or a minority–that simply isn’t so. He is a prince of contemporary Zionism. Like Naftali Bennett, who stands to win 15 Knesset seats in the upcoming election (running to the right of even Avigdor Lieberman’s Likud-Beitneu Party), Im Tirzu is Israel’s future (if not its present).
      Imagine not Ronen Shoval, director of Im Tirzu, but Minister Shoval, who gets the opportunity to direct the activities of the Shin Bet and Israeli police. Then he can abandon the private investigators and use the machinery of state to persecute his enemies.
      What liberal Zionists must ask themselves is how can they stomach an Israel that is run by unreconstructed fascists like Shoval and Bennet?
      How long can they defend an Israel run by and for not just Jews, but this particular aberrant version of the Jew? . . .


  4. Citizen
    January 19, 2013, 1:05 pm

    The Christian fundies I know, otherwise very nice neighbors, the kind who would “give you the shirt of their back,” would find nothing wrong with this agenda; they also are totally ignorant wrt Zionism, the ideology. The most reaction I ever got from any data I sent them was the equivalent of “there’s always a couple of bad apples in any group of people.” They also say they would send their own kids as combat troopers to fight for Israel in the Middle East. They think anyone who does not always support Israel will not get into heaven. They trust in baby Jesus. They cannot imagine any American being concerned about Israel or US foreign policy wrt Israel as it currently exists unless such an American has a Palestinian lover or close friend(s). They have no Jewish friends or even acquaintances. They are “salt of the earth” white Americans who worked their whole lives for anything they have. They all have high school educations. They all feel America is going down the drain culturally. That is what annoys them.

    • seafoid
      January 19, 2013, 4:26 pm

      The Rose guide to the Temple is a cracker

      It starts off very modestly

      Rose Guide to the Temple — Introduction

      “The temple built in Jerusalem is the most important building in history. Perhaps greater and grander structures have been built, but what makes the temple the most important is that God designed this structure as the place where his glorious presence would dwell.

      Though many times in history religions and political leaders have sought to deny, destroy, or replace the significance of the temple with shrines or symbols of their own, the temple and its site of the Temple Mount have continued even to this day to be before the eyes of the world.
      •Christianity remembers the temple in association with the teachings of Jesus and the last week of his life on earth.
      •Islamic tradition claims that a stone at Temple Mount is the place where Abraham brought his son Ishmael and from which the prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven.
      •Judaism, at least its Orthodox sect, still believes the divine presence attends the site. Most Orthodox Jews believe that the temple must one day be rebuilt.

      Rose Guide to the Temple

      These different perspectives on the temple have produced both controversy and conflict throughout history, and therefore those who would seek to understand the cause of this conflict must understand the subject of the temple itelf.

      Modern Jews and Christians often have difficulty understanding the concept of the temple and its sacrificial system. Although the temple was a familiar and accepted institution in early Judaism and the early church, its absence for the past 2,000 years has contributed to a lack of understanding regarding the temple’s nature and importance. However, bot Jesus and Christians still utilize buildings in their worship of God and believe that his presence is in some way with them as they meet.

      If houses of worship are important for believers today, how much more necessary was the existence of a physicyal sanctuary when the divine presence visibly manifested itself with his people!

      Though the physical temple does not stand today, the spiritual sense of the sanctuary that we experience now should help us appreciate what God provided in the past.

      It is therefore only fitting that this book presents the temple visually. God originally gave the temple to the people of Israel as a visual aid to comprehending God’s glory in the heavenly temple and to show the way in which God in his holiness relates to people in their sinful condition.

      He provided its patterns by divine relelation and commanded that it be built according to his precise specifications. Every element in the design of the temple, like every garment and action of the priesthood, was intended for illustrating the divine ideal. From the begining of cration, God communicated this divine ideal to humankind: He desires a relationship with his creatures, but on his terms, respecting his righteous standards.

      Throughout the history of divine revelation, God has continued to express this divine ideal through the concept of a sanctuary, whether actual or symbolic.

      For this reason, we find the concept of sanctuary spanning the whole of written revelation — from the first book of the Old Testament to the last book of the New Testament. The more you are able to visualize this wonderful design, the greater you will enjoy this central teaching of the Word of God.

      Although the Temple Mount today is the most volatile acreage on earth, for those who seek a relationship with the God of the universe, the study of the temple is one of the most vital activities for faith and worship.

      If you approach this study as one would approach the gates of the ancient temple with wonder and awe and then pass through with reverences, you will have the experience of the Israelites of old in gaining access to the knowledge of the Holy.
      – Dr. Randall Price, Rose Guide to the Temple – Introduction. ”

      I guess there are several tens of millions of red state Americans who smoke this sh$t.

  5. IL1948
    January 19, 2013, 1:07 pm

    Not all of us are so civilized that we can dream about blowing up a bus or murdering a family in Itimar.

    • seafoid
      January 19, 2013, 4:35 pm

      You get great mileage out of Itamar dontcha ? Never mind all the kids murdered in Gaza.

      • K Renner
        March 10, 2013, 7:17 am

        Well to IL1948’s mind those children in Gaza are just “dirty Arabs” so their blood of say 150 Gazan children is worth less then the blood of one settler child.

        Since the Itimar reference has nothing to do with this particular story in question, I wonder why IL1948 brings it up?
        Maybe he is in favour of blowing up the Golden Dome- he seems to have no problem with the murders of Palestinians and the brutality inflicted upon them by soldiers and settlers, so it doesn’t seem that outlandish that he would try and justify the nutbag featured in this posting.

    • Cliff
      January 19, 2013, 6:13 pm


      Israelis have killed 10 times the number of Palestinian children and 5 times the number of civilians since the 2nd Intifada. Likely more today after Israel’s murderous terror campaign in Gaza 2008.

      Israel regularly kills civilians and destroys Palestinian civilian infrastructure.

      And this is all in addition to the colonization and apartheid that Israel inflicts upon the Palestinians for decades.

      You kill more and steal on top of it all. When Israel does something disgusting or some Zionist does something disgusting – all the cultists can say is ‘blah blah Itamar’ or similar diversions.

      There is no comparison. Palestinians aren’t murdering Israelis in any comparable rate. Ad Palestinians aren’t colonizing land that doesn’t belong to them. Their land is being stolen by you. That’s the conflict in a nutshell, not Itamar.

      Itamar as you use it is pure propaganda.

    • Accentitude
      January 20, 2013, 2:48 am

      1. or creating the “most moral army in the world” out of ethnic cleansing terrorist militants.
      2. or playing hot potato with the reason for eradicating an entire family off the face of the earth in Gaza; a family who had nothing to do with conflict war, militant activity, terrorism, or otherwise.
      3. or hunting children for sport in Budrus as as they walk home from school
      4. or shooting farmers plowing their lands on tractors
      5. or firing tear gas canisters into the eyeballs of unarmed civilians
      6. or having your children write and sign messages with sharpies on missiles you intend to use to kill other children on the other side of the border
      7. or violating every single internationally recognized human rights law on the face of the earth
      8. or warmongering for the destruction of an independent sovereign nation for its nuclear program; a sovereign nation that has not aggressively attacked any of its neighbors when your own nation maintains nuclear ambiguity, refuses to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, and has started no less than 10 wars in its relatively tiny 65 year existence.
      9. or has edited video to justify the murder of an unarmed teenager at a checkpoint on the day of his birthday, has gotten caught for it, and still denies it.
      10. or claims to support peaceful negotiations to develop 2 states for 2 peoples as a means to resolve the conflict, yet continues to annex land, expand settlements, support settler terrorism, and intends to murder the 2-state solution by building in the E-1 corridor.

      Yeah, I guess we can’t all be as civilized as you are. After all, we’re just barbaric Arab nomads living in the deserts….that your bourgeois society of European and Russian immigrants made bloom, huh?

    • thankgodimatheist
      January 20, 2013, 6:29 am

      “or murdering a family in Itimar.”
      Never mind that they were settlers illegally squatting on stolen land and being from a settlement that was implicated in the most vicious attacks against defenseless Palestinian families . Doesn’t warrant murder maybe but they’re not entirely kosher either. As for terror attacks on buses, learn your history. You introduced it to the land.

  6. eljay
    January 19, 2013, 1:51 pm

    >> This is where it gets good. They lay the cornerstone of the temple in Jerusalem. You could imagine, imagine today, if the Dome, the Golden Dome–I’m being recorded so I can’t say blown up, but let’s say the Dome is blown up, right?

    So, not only is this Zio-supremacist hateful and immoral, he’s also stupid.

    >> And we laid the cornerstone of the Temple in Jerusalem. Can you imagine what it would, I mean, none of you would be here, you would all be like “I’m going to Israel,” right? No one would be here, it would be incredible.

    Why would a bunch of American Christians want to leave the comforts of Florida to live in an oppressive and supremacist “Jewish State” where – by definition – they would be second-class citizens, and where they would constantly be threatened with:
    – terrrrrrrrr from Aye-rabs who have had their (idolatrous) “holy site” destroyed;
    – terrrrrrrrr from Palestinians who continue to have their lands stolen and colonized, and their lives and livelihoods destroyed by the oppressive and supremacist “Jewish State” of which they (the American Christians) are second-class citizens;
    – being “wiped off the map” and “pushed into the sea” (even though the second phase seems unnecessary) by a possibly-eventually-nookyoolur-armed Iran?

  7. seafoid
    January 19, 2013, 4:36 pm

    Re the Temple : There was some American comedian who used to joke about “the holiest of holies”. Who was it?

  8. MHughes976
    January 19, 2013, 6:22 pm

    The fact that the talk about the buildings on the Temple Mount is so far all talk is seen from the fact that no Israeli governments have made serious efforts to stop the repairs and reconstructions being undertaken there by the Muslim authorities for the last dozen years, though these are beyond doubt archaeologically destructive and may be removing some historical knowledge from our ken for ever. (Perhaps they were in part provoked by the earlier threats of the terrorist groups whom Sheizaf mentions, still it’s a sad business.) Israeli groups have attempted to stop all this by court action, but the attitude of the law seems to be that it is a police matter and the police say that they are concerned with keeping peace and quiet not in protecting old sticks and stones. This is a policy that an Israeli government could change, but note how Mr. Gimpel prefers fantasy talk about blowing things up.

  9. James Canning
    January 19, 2013, 6:45 pm

    Gimpel is an idiot. This comment in fact is too kind.

  10. ToivoS
    January 20, 2013, 2:10 am

    Why worry about Gimfle’s ravings. Don’t they need to incinerate a red calf before the new temple can be built. In spite of millions of calves being born around the world, so far none has been deemed red. Let’s worry about this once such a calf is born.

    • Woody Tanaka
      January 21, 2013, 11:23 am

      “Why worry about Gimfle’s ravings.”

      Because enough israelis are barbaric or evil or stupid enough to vote him or someone like him into office one day.

  11. ToivoS
    January 21, 2013, 10:48 pm

    I was being a little tongue in cheek. Of course, once they are in office they will have little trouble finding some rabbi to announce the birth of a red calf. Something to look forward to.

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