Daily Israel Report

‘God’s Messenger’ Explains 2013 ‘Redemption’ Elections

Confused by elections ads calling to vote for redemption? Ofer Lifshitz explains his ‘divine mission’ and the Covenant Party.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 1/16/2013, 11:47 AM

Vote for the covenant': Torah scroll at Kotel
Vote for the covenant': Torah scroll at Kotel
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Those watching Likud Beytenu, Labor and others appeal for votes in the 2013 televised elections ads were likely confused to suddenly see an ad beginning with the Shema prayer announcing G-d’s unity.

“Nine years ago, the Holy One, Blessed is He, sent me to redeem His people, Israel, from years of slavery and persecution at the hands of Israel’s governments,” an earnest man then told viewers.

That man is Ofer Lifshitz, a former secular kibbutznik who says he experienced a divine revelation in 2004, and has been running for Knesset ever since. And, he told Arutz Sheva, his ads are completely serious.

“G-d sent me to redeem His people Israel,” he said. “I’m not the messiah, just a messenger.” He described his March 2004 revelation as “like Moshe [Moses] and the burning bush. For me it was an inner fire.”

Lifshitz said that while he does not look religious, “I keep Torah and mitzvoth on the inside, in every part of me.”

The main platform of his party, Brit Olam Legeulat Yisrael (Eternal Covenant for Israel’s Redemption), is the national reacceptance of the divine covenant described in the Bible, and of the ten commandments in particular.

However, Brit Olam has positions on other issues, as well. Some are Biblical in nature; for example, the party proposes solving the housing crisis by dividing the land of Israel into parcels, with each person receiving a share. The party’s stance on diplomacy is that “there will be no negotiations over the promised borders.”

Other positions include: higher salaries for police officers and teachers, an overhaul of Israel’s prisons with a focus on rehabilitation, legal restrictions on companies that seize debtors’ assets, and the creation of a national bank that would abide by Torah prohibitions on interest.