American-Israeli rabbi who claimed Bennett isn’t Jewish to pay thousands in compensation

Right-wing protesters waited for the former Prime Minister at the entrance to the trial. ‘You hoodwinked an entire sector of the country,’ they chanted.

By World Israel News Staff

Former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will be compensated in the amount of 40-80,000 shekels after a judge decided that popular Israeli-born Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi had slandered Bennett and his family.

During his sermons, Rabbi Mizrachi, a popular online personality who was born in Israel and lives in Monsey, New York, claimed Bennett is not Jewish, “doesn’t have a Jewish soul,” and should be “impaled with a spear.”

While Rabbi Mizrachi apologized to Bennett and his family, his lawyer drew Bennett’s ire, telling the judge that, “the entire lawsuit stems from a motivation to trample the defendant.”

“They’re continuing with their abominable lies,” Bennett retorted. “I demand a complete apology. They slandered by mother, whose entire family was annihilated in the Holocaust.”

Israel National News reported that Bennett’s mother said she had been listening to one of Rabbi Mizrachi’s lectures when she heard him telling listeners she was Christian. “It was so difficult for me,” she said in tears. “People from the community asked me about it.”

Last December, Bennett filed a one-million shekel ($290,000) lawsuit against Rabbi Ronen Shaulov, after Rabbi Shaulov claimed during a live-stream online lecture that the former premier and his parents are not Jewish according to Halacha, or traditional Jewish law.

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During the lecture, Rabbi Shaulov cited rumors claiming that both of Bennett’s parents, Jim and Myrna Bennett – both American-Jewish immigrants to Israel – had not been born Jewish and in fact had converted through the Reform Movement.

“Bennett is not Jewish, look it up on Google,” Rabbi Shaulov said, before accusing Bennett of “selling out the country to non-Jews.”

Rabbi Shaulov later retracted his statements and apologized to the former premier.

Right-wing protesters were waiting for Bennett following the hearing. “You’re not really right-wing,” they chanted. “You hoodwinked an entire section of the population.” He largely ignored them before entering his car.