Former ISA Chief Accuses Religious Zionists of ‘Domination’

Deputy Foreign Minister MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) responded sharply to defend the Religious Zionist community in Israel on Saturday night, after a post from former Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) chief Yuval Diskin warned that "Religious Zionists are dominating the direction the State of Israel."

"Diskin's remarks stem from a deep fear of loss of control of the secular elite in the State of Israel," Hotovely stated to Maariv Saturday night.

"The Israeli demography of the country is going in the direction of its Jewish identity, which is an integral part very existence,"  she continued. "Diskin's fear takes him to dark places and creates the delegitimization of an entire community."

"The [secular – ed.] Kibbutz Movement was three percent of the country's population but was significant in shaping Israel's political values as well as [secular] presence and leadership in combat units," she noted. "Today Religious Zionism produces leaders in many areas, and while they are not a majority in the country, they are leading a Jewish counterpart to the democratic side of the country."

The Jewish Home party issued its own response on Saturday night as well.

"The clear song from the old elite, who is losing control over the State, touches the heart," the party stated. "A day without incitement against Jewish Home is not a day for them."

Diskin's conspiracy theory

Diskin made radical claims that Religious Zionism is behind a "new state of Judea" – in his words, a "lawless" entity promoting "extremism."

"The 'two-state solution' is emerging before our eyes amongst us Jews – there is the State of Judea, which is de facto being established alongside the State of Israel," Diskin wrote on Friday. "These are two states in which the differences between them is only growing, and this chasm is becoming irreversible."

"Religious Zionism does not constitute the majority in the State of Israell, but as a very significant elite it has succeeded in making a vital contribution to the establishment, de facto of course, of the State of Judea, and it is now on its way to consolidating (in a democratic manner) its hold on the State of Israel," Diskin wrote on Friday.

"This is, without a doubt, a victory for the ideology of religious Zionism, but it's a pyrrhic victory. It's a tragic victory."

Ongoing incitement

Diskin made the comments amidst several accusations of the media and the political echelon already inciting against the Religious Zionist community, after observant Jews were accused of incitement in two attacks.

One, the attack on a Palestinian family in the Palestinian Authority (PA) village of Duma was never conclusively linked to Jews; the second, the stabbing at the Jerusalem Gay Pride parade, was perpetrated by Yishai Shlissel – a repeat offender from the haredi community.

Incitement has been so high that Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett recently filed a police report over threats to his safety, as well as the safety of Jewish Home party members – but at least one MK brushed his concerns off as "victimization."

"There has never been anyone with the ability to incite and cry at the same time as Naftali Bennett," MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) claimed last week. "Jewish Home declares open homophobia and racism and cries at the criticism it receives, as it turns out saying such things have dangerous results."


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