“When I hear that one of the haters of Judaism died…Someone who declared he wanted to become non-religious and married a foreigner, [Livnat] bemoans the great loss as a result of this Jew hater's death. It's unbelievable. Is this Jewish culture? Is this a Jewish state?"
Haredi MK Calls Famous Israeli Author A “Jew Hater”
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
MK Rabbi Yisroel Eichler of the Ashkenazi haredi United Torah Judaism party attacked a eulogy for author Yoram Kaniuk written by Israel’s Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat.
Kaniuk, who lost a long battle with cancer late last week at age 83, successfully fought to be listed by Israel’s Interior Ministry as a person with no religion rather than Jewish to protest the haredi monopoly over lifecycle issues like burial, conversion and marriage.
Wounded in the War of Independence, Kaniuk was treated at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, where he later lived for a decade during the 1950s, enthralled by the Jazz scene.
It was there that Kaniuk met his wife Miranda, who is not Jewish. They had two daughters. When Kaniuk’s his infant grandson was classified in Israel’s population registry as having no religion, Kaniuk – a lifelong opponent of religion – fought to be registered in the same way.
Before taking up painting and then after that writing, Kaniuk worked as a sailor on ships that transported Holocaust survivors to Israel.
Perhaps his most well-known book to Westerners is Adam Resurrected, which was made into a movie starring Jeff Goldblum.
Livnat called Kaniuk one of Israel’s greatest writers – which is certainly true.
Eichler, notorious for making inflammatory and often hateful statements against non-haredim, lashed out at Livnat and Kaniuk, Ynet reported.
“When I hear that one of the haters of Judaism died…Someone who declared he wanted to become non-religious and married a foreigner, [Livnat] bemoans the great loss as a result of this Jew hater's death. It's unbelievable. Is this Jewish culture? Is this a Jewish state?,” Eichler reportedly announced to the shocked Knesset plenum.
Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger and other haredim had, before Eichler’s outburst, said they were making arrangements for Kaddish (the Jewish memorial prayer) to be said for Kaniuk, who did not have a funeral. Instead, Kaniuk donated his body to science to be used by medical students.