Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz and Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich will speak at an event Thursday where a prize called the “Cathedra for Torah and Wisdom,” will be awarded to Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh.
Ginsburgh, a United States born rabbi praised religious extremist Baruch Goldstein who in 1994 killed 29 Muslims at prayer in the Tomb of the Patriarchs known as Sanctuary of Abraham to the Muslims. He also endorsed the book “The King’s Torah” which discussed various legal circumstances under which Jews can kill non-Jews.
The “Cathedra for Torah and Wisdom” received around US$7,162 in 2017 and 2018 from the Education ministry’s Jewish culture department. However, the ministry said it won’t fund the institution in 2019 and they were not involved in selecting the recipient of the award.
The logo of the Jewish cultural department of the education ministry was used by the Cathedra for Torah and Wisdom during an announcement two weeks ago when Ginsburgh was named as the winner.
“The director of the department [for Jewish culture] has instructed that the logo be removed,” the ministry told Haaretz adding that it was not involved in the ceremony.
Meanwhile, the Giv'at Shmuel municipality, whose logo was also used in the announcement, denied its association with the ceremony and denied any knowledge of its logo being used.
The Transport Minister Bezalel Smotrich praised Ginsburgh in a Tweet saying that he is “a genius” and that his work has an "incomprehensible scope. You don't have to agree with him about everything to believe he deserves an award.”
According to the event, “Peretz would be speaking at the opening of the conference, and Ginsburgh would receive his award at the end”, while “Smotrich is to speak during the award ceremony itself”.