Seattle’s BDS Rabbi scuffles with the IDF
Rabbi David Basior, pulpit Rabbi of Seattle’s Kadima Congregation, is well known for courting controversy. Past exploits include promoting the BDS movement and raising funds with his congregation for a group that promotes violence and anti-Semitic canards. This past May, Basior accompanied a group of Jewish activists who traveled to Israel to protest a Jewish presence in the biblical heartland.
Not content with signs and chants, this past May, Rabbi Basior joined by others from the Center for Jewish Nonviolence (CJN) illegally entered a closed military zone about five miles south of Hebron. On May 20th Basior and his mostly American cohort defied multiple warnings and directives from Israeli soldiers to leave the area, a military firing range, leading to an inevitable confrontation.
Refusing orders to disperse Basior scuffled with the young soldiers. Following the incident Rabbi Basior represented himself as a victim, posting to Facebook that “last night I was shoved around by fellow Jewish men, armed soldiers in the IDF”.
Hen Mazzig, a media consultant and former officer in the Israel Defense Forces humanitarian COGAT unit, told TMR that the antics of Basior and his fellow travelers can put Israeli soldiers in harm’s way. “When our soldiers come under attack, oftentimes these groups interfere with their ability to defend themselves”. Explains Mazzig “the soldiers are there to do their job of protecting the Jewish state and the activists that come to these areas, are looking for trouble. Why would you go to a closed military zone other than to cause trouble?”
Mazzig questions the motives of Basior and his anti-Israel entourage, telling TMR that he has no issue with people having reasoned differences with Israeli policies, but says this type of grandstanding is counterproductive. “If you have a political agenda” says Mazzig “you should move to Israel and work to change the political situation. These violent outbursts help no one.”
Rabbi Basior is active in the Seattle Jewish community, he was recently invited to speak at Temple DeHirsch and leads classes at Congregation Herzl Ner-Tamid’s annual Torahthon.