Amichai Ben Eliyahu (abbreviated Amichai Eliyahu) is an Israeli politician, affiliated with the extreme right, who bases his positions on extremist religious theories and fatwas, and declares explicit hostility towards Arabs and Palestinians.
Birth and upbringing
Amichai Eliyahu was born in the city of Jerusalem On April 24, 1979, he grew up in the city of Shlomi, and received his education in several discipleship schools.
His father is Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of the city of Safed, and from him he absorbed many of his extremist religious ideas. Shmuel ran for the position of chief rabbi of the Jews. Sephardic (Easterners) in Israel but failed to reach him.
Shmuel Eliyahu was known for his extremist positions against the Palestinians and Arabs in general. He said about the double earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria in February 2023 that it was “divine justice,” and likened it to the incident of drowning Pharaoh’s soldiers in the sea.
Shmuel said in an article in a weekly religious newsletter that God “punishes all the countries surrounding Israel, which want to occupy our land and throw us into the sea.” He considered that the earthquake “purified the world and made it better.”
Shmuel Eliyahu issued a fatwa prohibiting renting or selling houses and lands to Arabs, a fatwa that mobilized more than twenty rabbis to sign it, and he was put on trial because of it.
Amichai Eliyahu is also the grandson of Mordechai Eliyahu, who held the position of Chief Rabbi of the Sephardic Jews in Israel, and the origin of the entire family is from Iraq, as Mordechai is the son of the Iraqi rabbi Salman Eliyahu.
In turn, Mordechai was active in his youth in an extremist Jewish movement called “Brit HaKanim,” and he held the position of Chief Rabbi of Sephardic Jews from 1983 to 1993. He died in June 2010.
Amichai Eliyahu belongs to the Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party, which he leads Itamar Ben GvirIt is a hard-line right-wing party that supports building settlements and regaining control of the territory of the Gaza Strip.
Elected a member of The Knesset (Israeli Parliament) for the same party on November 15, 2022, then resigned from Parliament after he was appointed Minister of Heritage and Jerusalem Affairs on December 29, 2022 in the government of Benjamin Netanyahu.
Amichai Eliyahu served in the Israeli army in the paratroopers unit, and was known for his support for the procedures to review judicial laws that Netanyahu initiated at the beginning of his government term, and sparked popular protests against him that lasted for several months.
Eliyahu described some security leaders who expressed opposition to these measures as “rebels” and called for their punishment.
He said in an interview with the Israeli Kol Brama radio that one of the options is to drop a nuclear bomb on Gaza, although in this case it would also destroy Israeli cities, and he considered that “there is no innocent in Gaza.”
In response to a question about the fate of about 250 Israelis who were captured Al-Qassam Brigades in battle”Al-Aqsa floodIf Israel bombs Gaza with a nuclear bomb, Eliyahu said, “Their lives are not more precious than the lives of the Israeli soldiers” who were killed in the war on the Strip, but “there is a price that must be paid for the war,” he said.
His statements sparked widespread criticism, prompting Netanyahu to exclude him from the mini-security cabinet meetings, and considered his statements “unrealistic.”
Also earlier, Eliyahu commented on the massive destruction caused by the Israeli raids in the northern Gaza Strip in response to the “Al-Aqsa Flood” operation, saying that “the region has become more beautiful than before.”
In August 2023, the Israeli Minister of Heritage considered that Israel must annex the occupied West Bank as soon as possible.
Eliyahu told Army Radio that Israel “must impose sovereignty on the areas of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) as well, and this should be pushed as smartly as possible, and these things should be said anywhere in order to produce international recognition that this place is ours.”