Binyamin Elon

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Binyamin Elon
Binyamin Elon.jpg
Date of birth (1954-11-10) 10 November 1954 (age 62)
Place of birth Jerusalem, Israel
Knessets 14, 15, 16, 17
Faction represented in Knesset
1996–1999 Moledet
1999–2009 National Union
Ministerial roles
2001–2002 Minister of Tourism
2003–2004 Minister of Tourism

Rabbi Binyamin "Benny" Elon (Hebrew: בנימין אלון‎‎, born 10 November 1954) is an Israeli Orthodox rabbi and politician who served as a member of the Knesset for Moledet and the National Union between 1996 and 2009. A ninth-generation Jerusalemite, Elon has lived in Beit El, an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, for the last twenty years, and is married to author and journalist Emuna Elon. They have six children. His father, Menachem Elon, was the former Deputy Chief Justice of Israel, and his brother, Rabbi Mordechai Elon, is a prominent and controversial figure in the Religious Zionist Movement.


Born in Jerusalem, Elon studied at the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva, and Kollel HaIdra in the Golan Heights, before being ordained as a rabbi in 1978. Together with Hanan Porat, he founded the Beit Orot Talmudic College and became its first dean.[1][2]

He was first elected to the Knesset in 1996, as a member of the right-wing Moledet party, which advocates voluntary transfer of Palestinian population from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (an ideology shared by Elon).[3] In 1999, the party allied with other right-wing parties to form the National Union party. Following the assassination of Moledet leader Rehavam Ze'evi in 2001, Elon was elected to replace him as party chairman and as Tourism Minister. He consequently served two terms as Minister of Tourism, between 2001 and 2002, and again between 2003 and 2004, both in Ariel Sharon's government. During his second spell in the cabinet, Elon attempted to foil Ariel Sharon's plan to dismiss him from the cabinet for intending to vote against the disengagement plan by going into hiding, claiming that if he did not receive his dismissal in person within 48 hours of the cabinet meeting, then he would still be able to vote.[4][5] Ultimately, his dismissal was deemed legal, and he was not allowed to vote in the meeting.

In February 2006, Elon was diagnosed with throat cancer.[6]

He was re-elected in 2006, but did not run in the 2009 elections.


Elon is a keen supporter of the continuation of the Israeli settlement enterprise in the West Bank and return to Gush Katif, and does not recognize a Palestinian right for self-determination in any part of the Eretz Israel ("Land of Israel"), the area which God gave to the Jews, according to the Hebrew Bible. As such, he rejects the efforts for establishing peace in the Middle East as viewed by the mainstream (see Road map for peace). Instead, he suggests an alternative proposal called The Right Road to Peace, also known as the Elon Peace Plan.

Additional work[edit]

He is the author of God's Covenant with Israel: Establishing Biblical Boundaries in Today's World (2005).

Elon maintains close contacts with the Christian right, including Christian radio personality Janet Parshall, Gary Bauer of the American Values lobby, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, the Christian Coalition of America, Pat Robertson, and others. [7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Benny Elon, National Union Archived May 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Ynetnews, 26 January 2005
  2. ^ At the front of Israel's culture war Boston Globe, 22 March 2006
  3. ^ Israeli expulsion idea gains steam Christian Science Monitor, 6 February 2002
  4. ^ Sharon Fires 2 Cabinet Ministers On Eve of Vote on Gaza Plan New York Times, 5 June 2004
  5. ^ Benny Elon Interview Archived June 21, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. The Jerusalem Post, 15 July 2003 (republished by Gamla)
  6. ^ Q&A with National Union MK Binyamin Elon Haaretz, 2 March 2006
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2009-02-18. 

External links[edit]