BY ADAM ELIYAHU BERKOWITZ/ISRAEL 365 NEWSDECEMBER 29, 2023
Likud Member of Knesset Galit Distel-Atbaryan addressed the plenum on Wednesday, and despite self-identifying as non-religious, her address praised the "messianic" manifestations appearing among the IDF in Gaza.
Distel-Atbaryan described a gathering of hundreds of soldiers singing "Ani Maamin" ("I believe") before going into combat in Gaza. The song's words are "I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah, and, though he tarry, I will wait daily for his coming". It is the twelfth of Maimonides' thirteen-point version of the principles of faith and is a declaration of a belief that the Messiah will surely come.
"Yesterday, I saw one of the most touching films I have seen that came out of this war until now. Hundreds of soldiers in one hall, singing that they believe with complete faith in the coming of the Messiah. It is a little strange, because as emotional as this is, every newspaper you open, every television show you watch, every article in Haaretz, define this belief in the Messiah, this burning and eternal belief of the nation of Israel, this Messianic belief, as the greatest existential danger to our country right now.
It doesn't matter that this is how we define our soldiers indirectly, those who do the Kohanic blessing in Gaza, those who sing in honor of the Messiah in Gaza, those who put on tefillin in Gaza. These 'Messianics' that die in Gaza, and protect us in Gaza, they are a danger because they are 'Messianic'? It doesn't matter that it is strange that for the eternal nation that one thing that kept us was our belief that the Messiah would one day come. Suddenly, this belief is considered a curse or an existential threat to the country.
"I want to put these strange things to the side in order to make a confession. I used to have different messiahs. I used to believe in a messiah called the Green Line. I went to a stationery store and bought a green felt tip marker. I scribbled some lines on a map and that was my messiah. After that, my messiah was the Oslo Accords."
"These messiahs were false messiah. Not only were they false, but they were dangerous. For one moment, I want to defend the Messiah of the Jewish nation, the concept of the messiah. I wonder what went wrong with us as a nation that this ascendant idea, this progression towards the eternal that brings the Jewish Messiah, why is it so ridiculous and ridiculed as being dangerous?"
Distel-Atbaryan then quoted the Book of Isaiah:
And they shall beat their swords into plowshares And their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not take up Sword against nation; They shall never again know war. Isaiah 2:4
"My Messiah commands me to dream of peace," she continued. "My Messiah commands me to wish for brotherhood between nations. My Messiah is eternal."
"I want to use this opportunity, to stand in the Knesset of Israel in 2023 and to say with great pride; I, Member of the Knesset, Galit Distel-Atbaryan, believe with complete faith in the coming of the Messiah, and even if he delays, I will wait for him every day to arrive. And he will come, quickly. Amen."
At least one of the MKs in attendance echoed her 'amen'.