Eli Ben-Dahan

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Eli Ben-Dahan
Eli-Ben-Dahan-001.jpg
Date of birth (1954-02-11) 11 February 1954 (age 61)
Place of birth Casablanca, Morocco
Year of aliyah 1956
Knessets 19, 20
Faction represented in Knesset
2013– The Jewish Home
Eli Ben-Dahan

Eliyahu Michael "Eli" Ben-Dahan (Hebrew: אלי בן דהן‎, born 11 February 1954) is an Israeli rabbi and politician. He was Deputy Minister of Religious Services from 2013 to 2015. He currently serves as a member of the Knesset for the Jewish Home and is the Deputy Minister of Defense.

Biography[edit]

The eldest of five boys,[1] Ben-Dahan was born in Casablanca, Morocco, and immigrated to Israel in 1956 at the age of two, his family settling in Beersheba.[2] He studied at the Nativ Meir and Mercaz HaRav yeshivas, and is an ordained rabbi. During his national service in the IDF he became a major in the Artillery Corps.[1] He later went on to gain a teaching certificate, a bachelor's degree in business administration from Touro College, and a master's degree in public policy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.[1] He was ordained by Rabbis Chalom Messas, Avraham Shapira and Mordechai Eliyahu.[1]

In 1978 Ben-Dahan was amongst the founders of the Haspin settlement in the Golan Heights.[1] In 1983 he moved to Beit El settlement in the West Bank after being asked by Mordechai Eliyahu to manage his office.[1] He became Director-General of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel's Rabbinical Court system in 1989, holding the post for 21 years. During his tenure as director of the rabbinical courts, he promoted legislation to enact punitive sanctions on husbands who refused their wives a get (bill of divorce), had the divorce process streamlined, and promoted the introduction of female advocates into the rabbinical courts.[2]

Prior to the 2013 Knesset elections he was placed fourth on the Jewish Home list,[3] entering the Knesset as the party won twelve seats. Following the elections he was appointed Deputy Minister of Religious Services in the new government. He was re-elected in 2015 after being placed fourth on the party's list again. He was subsequently appointed Deputy Minister of Defense in the new government.

Ben-Dahan currently lives in Har Homa in East Jerusalem and is married with nine children.[2]

Controversy[edit]

Ben-Dahan has stirred controversy with some of his statements, which were cited after his appointment to administer the IDF's civil administration in the West Bank, with jurisdiction over Palestinians resident there:

"For me [Palestinians] are like animals, they are not human."[4][5]

"A Jew always has a much higher soul than a gentile, even if he is a homosexual."[6]

References[edit]

External links[edit]