Daily Israel Report

Deputy Minister Blames New Israel Fund for Smearing IDF Officer

Dep. Religions Minister Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan sees NIF's hand behind campaign over 'exclusion of women.'
By Ido Ben Porat, Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/12/2014, 12:05 PM

Rabbi Elyahu Ben Dahan
Rabbi Elyahu Ben Dahan
David Hochberg, Besheva

Deputy Religions Minister Rabbi Eliyahu Ben Dahan (Jewish Home) claimed Tuesday that the New Israel Fund is behind the current campaign of incitement against Givati Brigade Commander Col. Ofer Winter, involving unfounded allegations that he refused to have a woman perform before his troops out of religious prejudice.

Rabbi Ben Dahan noted that Col. Winter already came under attack at the outset of Operation Protective Edge when he invoked G-d and cited the Shema [Hear O Israel] prayer in an order he issued to his troops before the battles.

"After trying to dampen the morale of the Givati Brigade because of the use of the verse 'Hear O Israel, Hashem our G-d, the single G-d,'” wrote Ben Dahan, “the New Israel Fund is now embarking on a new campaign, through its offshoot, Be Free Israel, against the Givati Brigade Commander, claiming that he prevented Sarit Hadad from performing for his troops.”

"They did not let the fact that the soldiers preferred the singer Moshe Peretz bother them,” he added. “But on the other hand, they never do let facts change their imagined reality.”

"Rabbi Ben Dahan said that for the New Israel Fund, the besmirching of IDF commanders and soldiers is always a welcome thing. “The nation and its warriors proved in this war that they are proud of their religion and not ashamed of it,” he stressed.

"Let us expose the true face of the Fund and its offshoots,” he called out to his Facebook followers. “I bet that campaigns like this will not harm the NIF's fundraising in Europe, at the expense of all of us. Let them now ask for a bonus for their success in getting a deputy minister to react.”

The NIF's reaction to this report will be published once it is received.