Antisemites overrun MK’s town hall aimed at mending Israel’s ties with Jews abroad

Blue and White’s Alon Tal forced to reschedule Zoom meeting after haters take over, write ‘Hitler was right’ and profanities onscreen

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Blue and White MK Alon Tal. (Elad Malka)
Blue and White MK Alon Tal. (Elad Malka)

Knesset Member Alon Tal was forced to postpone a virtual town hall on Sunday night that was meant to help mend Israel’s ties with Jews abroad after antisemites took over the call, praising Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and writing profanities onscreen.

Tal’s office said he was rescheduling the meeting for next week.

“Antisemitism has not disappeared from the world, but we will not allow hate to win,” Tal wrote in a tweet about the incident.

Tal, a US-born member of the centrist Blue and White party, has emerged as a key voice in the Knesset on improving ties between Israel and Jewish communities abroad, specifically with American Jewry. Polls have identified a growing disconnect between Israel and American Jews, particularly those who belong to more progressive streams of Judaism.

Tal’s Zoom meeting, titled “How Israel can better represent Jews around the world,” was aimed at discussing those issues.

However, shortly after the open-access meeting began, a number of people signed onto the call in a form of harassment known as Zoombombing and began writing in the chat “Hitler was right” and other praise of the Nazi leader, and took over over the screen to write profanities.

Tal was forced to end the call early. He has rescheduled it for next Sunday evening, his office said.

“We will continue to strengthen our partnerships with our friends around the world. And most importantly, we will have no fear at all,” Tal said, referencing a famous Hebrew saying by the Hasidic Rabbi Nachman of Breslov.

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