The chairman of religious Zionism, Minister Bezalel Smotrich, responds to the words of Knesset member Yisrael Eichler, against Zionism.
In a response video he posted, Smotrich said, "The message before the New Year is that there's no need to criticize others in order to believe in your own path. I have no interest in arguing with Member of Knesset Eichler about ideological matters. My perspective, as is well known, regarding Zionism and the State of Israel, the beginning of our redemption, is different from his by 180 degrees. The Zionist enterprise is the most just and moral project over the past hundreds of years from a historical and international perspective."
Samotrich continued to say, "The return of the Jewish people to their land after being forcibly exiled from it is the everlasting answer to the persecutions our people endured during the long and terrible years of exile, and a significant stage in the redemption of Israel."
The Minister of Finance added, "The privilege we have in these generations to gather in and establish a Jewish state, to have a strong and powerful defense force that protects the existence of the Jewish people, to have Torah study flourishing, to grow and show kindness in all areas - all of these leave no doubt about the miracle called the State of Israel. One would have to be blind and ungrateful not to see this."
"The false idealization of the exile and the strange yearning for it is akin to saying, 'We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost.' It is a distortion of history and a turning away from the great abundance that, with God's help, we have achieved here in the Land of Israel and in the State of Israel, and primarily, it is a severe detriment to the entire Jewish people."
"The vulgar and inappropriate words of MK Eichler do not represent the absolute majority of the ultra-Orthodox public, which, even if it has differences of perspective, unequivocally distances itself from offensiveness and derogatory behavior. They love the IDF soldiers and appreciate them, feeling like a part of the State of Israel and Israeli society. In the spirit of the days of repentance during the month of Elul, I call on MK Eichler to reconsider his words and apologize."