TEL AVIV – MK Stav Shaffir is being ridiculed on social media for attempting to educate Minister of Education Naftali Bennett by claiming that Jews originally hail from Egypt.
Bennett, the leader of the Jewish Home party, tweeted plans to celebrate Jerusalem’s unity in the coming year. In response, Shaffir lashed back:
“‘From Jerusalem our history began.’ So said Bennett this morning. Excuse me for the pettiness, but it is worth the Minister of Education knowing that, according to the Torah, we came here from Egypt.”
The tweet attracted derision from all sides of the political spectrum.
One comedian posted an iconic image of Israeli soldiers by the Western Wall in 1967, except the wall has been replaced with the pyramids (see above).
Another wrote, “This is who we have representing the nation? God help us.”
A third altered the traditional Jewish prayer for the rebuilding of Jerusalem by quipping, “Next year in Cairo rebuilt! Regardless of who is correct, Bennett you have your work cut out for you.”
Shaffir subsequently deleted the tweet and added a new one that read:
“Bennett has decided to rewrite the Bible to fit his own political needs. For his information: The Jewish people began at Mt. Sinai and not in Jerusalem.”
The Jewish Home party posted that Shaffir’s comments show that the Labor Party has come a long way since the days of its leader and former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Activists from Shaffir’s own party said her tweet was indeed petty. A group of Labor supporters called the Flagbearers posted to their 4,000 followers on Facebook that Shaffir’s flippant remark touched on an age-old debate on how and when Jews became a nation.
“It’s true that, broadly speaking, you got the facts right. The first Biblical mention of the Israelites as ‘the Nation of Israel’ was, indeed, only in Egypt.”
Commenting that most Labor voters would be glad for their children to learn more about Jerusalem, the post argued that Shaffir was “brushing off the unassailable bond between the Jewish people and Jerusalem, our capital.”
“It isn’t clear what bothers you about the school year centering on Jerusalem. What good did attacking Bennett on this subject do?” the Flagbearers added.