United Right Chairman Rabbi Rafi Peretz explained why he left the Knesset plenum after MK Ofer Cassif used his first Knesset speech to call Rabbi Kook's teaching "race theory".
"Rabbi Kook was one of the greatest Torah scholars of our period. One of the great lights whose Torah teachings run deep in our eternal connection to the Land of Israel, to human dignity, and to our commitment to the Torah of Israel. To call Rabbi Kook a racist is ignorance and an embarrassment."
In his speech Kasif said, "Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook was right when he wrote that 'humanity is to unite all in one family, and then cease all fighting and all the evil traits that arise from the division of nations and their boundaries.' But his tainted doctrine was fundamentally a disgraceful race theory that placed the Jewish collective above the rest of the nations, as the first in an imagined hierarchy.
"It's obvious that the political plan that was derived from this terrible teaching, and which, to his great shame, has taken hold in the corridors of government in the direction of the Prime Minister's Office, essentially contradicts all human dignity," added MK Cassif.
"In fact, no hierarchy (racial, national, gender, or class) can respect a person as a human being. Only true, deep, and full equality can express such dignity and ensure its realization in practice. This requires a comprehensive political doctrine: revolutionary ideology and practice that puts man at the center - not the nation, not the state, not the land, not religion. The person as a person. I found this already years ago in Marxist socialism," Cassif admitted.