The adviser who Otzma Yehudit chairman Itamar Ben Gvir has described as his “right-hand man” helped establish an organization that donates money to incarcerated Jewish terrorists and extremists, including former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin Yigal Amir.
Chanamel Dorfman filed the application for Shlom Asiraich to be recognized as a non-governmental organization in Israel two years ago and is listed on the form as the group’s legal adviser, Channel 13 revealed in an exposé that aired Monday.
Shlom Asiraich in a recent flier boasted of having raised over $43,000 last year for convicts such as Yosef Chaim Ben David, who beat and burned to death 16-year-old Palestinian Muhammad Abu Khdeir in 2014; Amiram Ben Uliel, who firebombed a home in the Palestinian village of Duma, leading to the death of parents Riham and Sa’ad Dawabshe along with their one-year-old boy Ali in 2015; and Jack Tytell, who murdered a Palestinian taxi driver in East Jerusalem and a Palestinian shepherd in the West Bank in 1997.
In a follow-up report that aired Thursday, the network revealed that beneficiaries of Shlom Asiraich have also included Amir and Yishai Schlissel, the Haredi extremist who stabbed 16-year-old Shira Banki to death during the 2015 Jerusalem Pride Parade, just three weeks after he was released from prison where he had served an eight-year sentence for a stabbing attack at the same march 10 years earlier.
The network showed the latest flier from the group that was posted several days earlier, calling on supporters to pray for the well-being of a list of Jewish prisoners that included Amir and Schlissel.
It also called a representative of Shlom Asiraich pretending to be interested in making a donation to the group.
In a recording that aired during the segment, the Shlom Asiraich representative could be heard explaining that funds given to the group cannot go to certain Jewish extremists unless specified by the donor.
“If a person tells us that they specifically want us to give [their donation] to Yigal Amir or to Schlissel, then we do so,” the staffer can be heard saying. “Every so often someone will give me money and say, ‘This is for Yishai Schlissel. I love Yishai Schlissel.'”
Asked for her thoughts on Shlom Asiraich in a radio interview earlier this week, Ben Gvir’s wife Ayala said, “These groups can do what they want as long as it’s legal and as long as it’s okay. I don’t get involved in what organizations do.”
In his response to the latest revelation, Dorfman told Channel 13 in a statement, “After you fell for this investigative report two days ago and falsely claimed that I give money to prisoners, today you’re repeating this story and presenting facts that don’t have any connection to reality. We will meet in court. Get ready to pay up.”
Otzma Yehudit said in a statement that it was proud to use Dorfman’s services and went on to castigate the network for not conducting similar exposés targeting lawmakers on the other side of the political spectrum who employed controversial aides.
Otzma Yehudit’s chairman Ben Gvir, who is vying to become the next public security minister, referred to Dorfman as his “right-hand” man in his thank-you speech given after Religious Zionism won 14 seats in the November 1 election.
Ben Gvir first gained national attention when he was interviewed after managing to steal the logo off of then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin’s vehicle. “We got to his car, and we’ll get to him too,” Ben Gvir said, weeks before the 1995 assassination.
Ben Gvir maintains that the clip was cut to not include the next section where he was asked what he would do if he reached Rabin himself, to which the young far-right activist responded, “I’d shout at him.”
But Ben Gvir went on to campaign for Amir’s release and in previous election campaigns, he vowed to secure a pardon for Amir if elected.
Also on the Otzma Yehudit payroll is Elisha Yered, who the Haaretz daily reported on Monday has been hired to become incoming MK Limor Son Har-Melech’s spokesman.
Yered has long been regarded as a spokesman for hilltop youth — ultra-nationalist Jewish settlers who build illegal outposts in the West Bank and often clash with Palestinians and Israeli security forces.
לימור סון הר מלך, שתושבע השבוע כחברת כנסת מטעם מפלגת 'עוצמה יהודית', תעסיק את אלישע ירד בתפקיד דובר. ירד הוא מפעילי נוער הגבעות הבולטים, מתגורר ברמת מגרון ושימש בשנתיים האחרונות כדובר הגבעות ובנושאי התיישבות נוספים. הוא יעזוב את המרעה ויעבוד ממסדרונות הכנסת. צילום: אברהם שפירא pic.twitter.com/96uvFJAbhs
— יהונתן גוטליב (@yonatanGottlieb) November 13, 2022
He lives in the illegal Ramat Migron outpost in the northern West Bank, which the IDF has declared a closed military zone.
The 22-year-old was arrested in August for looting a warehouse in a neighboring Palestinian village. The charges against him alleged that the break-in was nationalistically motivated. A judge ordered his release to temporary house arrest, but the case against him is ongoing.
Yered declined Haaretz’s request for comment. But he told the right-wing Arutz 7 news outlet that “after years of working in public relations from ‘the office’ on the hilltop or from the pasture with the sheep via cellphone, we will have to get used to working in the halls of the Knesset… I hope not to screw up too much, pray for me.”