Ephraim Khantsis: Portrait of KahanaWannabe American-Jewish Settler Terrorist
Haaretz is reporting that an American born-again Orthodox Jew, Ephraim Khantsis, has received a military order expelling him from the West Bank for six months for expressing solidarity with Jack Teitel and his terrorist acts against Palestinians. Though he was enrolled in the Machon Meir Yeshiva, he spent most of his time since making aliyah to Israel four months ago at the Kfar Tapuach settlement, a hotbed of Kahanist extremism. It was there that residents reported him.
With some key help from the intrepid Sol Salbe, I’ve learned quite a bit about our Kahane-wannabe. He recently graduated from SUNY Stony Brook with a degree in computer science. He grew up in Bensonhurst, known as a tough neighborhood filled with Syrian and Russian Jews.
He was profiled back in September in quite an unlikely place, Conde Nast’s Details Magazine, where he made the rather startling confession, even before becoming an Israeli citizen, that he would shoot IDF soldiers who came to remove him from the extremist enclave where he intended to make his home:
…There’s a pledge Khantsis makes, one that it’s also possible to hear from Americans already living in settlements, that might be more troubling to Israeli authorities: If the Israeli military comes to remove him from his new home—and many in Israel believe such an event is likely—he will not leave peacefully.“I would fight against it with all my strength, and I would leave nothing back to try to stop it,” says the slim young man wearing a black yarmulke. He speaks so softly that at times it’s hard to hear him. “If they use violence, then we’re justified doing the same.” Would that include using a gun? “Yes,” he says. Is he absolutely sure that he would use a weapon against Israeli soldiers? “That’s right. I strongly hope it would never come to that,” he says. But “if they’re already shooting us, I’d have no option. I don’t think the right thing to do is turn the other cheek. It’s not a Jewish thing to do.”
The entire story is a real eye-opener as it chronicles other hard-core Hilltop Youth and their forays into violent insurrection against the secular Israeli state. I got a dark laugh from the thought that the Shin Bet can do some of its best intelligence work by reading glossy American men’s magazines. In this day and age, even wannabe terrorists maintain social networking profiles. He has a Facebook account, where his political views are listed as “Kach” and religious views are listed as “fundamentalist.” One thing you have to hand to him: at least he’s honest. He lists his hometown as “Belgorod Dnestrovskiy, Ukraine.”
I am sorry to say that Khantsis’ Ukrainian origin fits with the fact that many former Soviet Jews came to Israel and America with hardline anti-Communist views which translated into hardline nationalist political views supporting the Likud (in Israel) and parties even farther to the right (like Kach for one). When Avigdor Lieberman first made aliyah he too made common cause with Kach.
Among the Facebook pages he features are those of Nadia Matar, the Women in Green settler extremist who called for Mahmoud Abbas assassination at a Manhattan synagogue; and Ketzeleh Katz, settler Knesset member featured here in a YouTube video foaming at the mouth against the Israeli TV satire program, Eretz Nehederet; Kahane Tzadak (“Kahane was right”); Mike Huckabee, darling of the settler extremists; and the settler news portal, Arutz Sheva.
He lists his profession as “web designer,” which somehow seems fitting in this age of internet terrorism. He has a Twitter account aptly named, Doom7777. Seems to have had a fantatical devotion to Gilad Shalit (“Kidnapping, terrorizing, fanatical monsters will not succeed to subdue the Zionist State!”) and his freedom, though he pretty much stopped tweeting once he made aliya.
So this is the cream of American Jewish youth, our latter-day Zionist chalutzim who, like our European grandparents, came to build the land and make it bloom–with settlements, barbed wire, attack dogs, M-16s and hate. When are we going to wake up and realize this isn’t a Zionist dream, it is a nightmare. And in order to prevent the nightmare from turning into a cataclysm, we must crack down on this aberrant form of Jewishness and Zionism. We must destroy these movements and ideas. If neither the Israeli nor American governments takes firmer action they will have only themselves to blame for the consequences. We have seen what the Jack Teitels can do even with his solo reign of terror. Imagine what an entire movement of Teitels can do with some ingenuity and intestinal fortitude. All they have to do is think a little bigger, get someone with the vision of an Osama bin Laden. That would be all it would take for some real mayhem.
Haaretz notes that this military expulsion order is one of the most severe measures at the disposal of the military authorities in dealing with extremist settlers. There are currently three such orders in effect against residents of Yitzhar.
The actions taken against Khantsis bring home once again the necessity for the U.S. government to do a better job of monitoring the radical pro-settler movement in this country and the necessity for clamping down on fundraising here on behalf of extremist settlements like Yitzhar and Kfar Tapuach among many others.
For some odd reason Haaretz English omitted Khantsis’ name from its English language report, but not from the Hebrew edition.
16 thoughts on “Ephraim Khantsis: Portrait of KahanaWannabe American-Jewish Settler Terrorist – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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One minor correction. Haaretz does not list him as a convert but describes him in Hebrew as a Khozer B’Tshuva, a secular person who becomes religious. I often translate the expression as a born-again Jew, The analogy is IMO apt. Someone may be formally a Christian/Jew but on being “born again” they become devout and start practicing their religion or at least what passes for the devout version of it.
Right, thanks for that correction.
“He recently graduated from SUNY Stony Brook with a degree in computer science. ”
Americans are educating the very people who will, ultimately, destroy the US.
Natan Sharansky notwithstanding, wasn’t one of the key tensions around Jewish emigration from USSR in the ’80s the demand by Moscow that emigres repay to the Soviet state the investment USSR had made in the emigres’ education?
Reference “…aberrant form of Jewishness and Zionism.” So telling and timely.
Bad actors, who are extolled, enflame anti-Semitism!
Crack-down and destruction of these movements and ideas a necessary wake-up from nightmare.
RE: Ephraim Khantsis
MY COMMENT: ‘nother nutter!
RE: ‘nother nutter!
Moldovan/Israeli/American Orly Taitz
I went to Yeshiva with this guy until he got kicked out a couple days ago. I agree with Rabbi Kahane on the issues but I have distanced myself from him in the past month because I am seeing the real face behind the mask. Apperntly in Gemura class every single line of Germura he would make a radical statment. He even believes that we should kills those who break Shabbat. My Yeshiva Machon Meir is being over run my Shabbak and the Police because of this kid. I am really starting to get pissed off because of the bad name my Yeshiva is getting due to someone who thinks he can change the world by being louad and annoying.
Minor note: not a single Syrian Jew lives in Bensonhurst anymore, though there are plenty of Russians.
B”H – This is the most anti-Jewish article of the year by far. Not one Jewish idea, just smear on smear, disinformation on disinformation. Efraim the man and Efraim the Land are Jewish, forget about “kahanawannabees”: Places like Kfar Tapuah are social-engineered, hotbeds for Likud and Kadima recruiters, if anything. If the State of Israel was Jewish, and not a mere usurper of the Jewish narrative and of the Jewish Land, people like Teitel could stay at home and play with their kids.
Thank you for yr confidence in me. I’m proud to have people like you & Khantsis as enemies.
B”H – If you are “bettering the world” against halacha, Jewish Law, than in fact you are worsening it. Proud or not proud.
I’m worsening it only in your eyes & the eyes of radical settlers. Not in the eyes of the vast majority of world Jewry. In their eyes YOU are the one worsening the world.
B”H – This of course is true, unfortunately. At the same time utterly irrelevant: Judaism is not about what assimilated and Hellenized so called “Jews” may think, it’s about what Hashem, our G-d told us to do, to be in this world for, as Jews: A package that we accepted upon ourselves blindly, for all generations, even before the Torah was given.
In this context you are not only fighting me and the ones you call “radical settlers”, a doubly pejorative, anti-Jewish description, but the G-d of Israel, the very King of the universe, blessed is He and, again of course, I don’t understand why, in his right mind, one would chose to fight such an un-holy, evil and let me say predictable-outcome war: You are condemning yourself to be irrelevant, just one of G-d’s enemies over the millennia, one who will be destroyed like all the others and placed in the dustbin of His divine History. Let me inform you, that G-d and His Jews are here to stay, even if you don’t want it and even if you fight it.
this is utter nonsense & you have no more of a corner on the market of knowing what God thinks than any other JEW. BUT it certainlyy is a trademark of frumeh Yidd’n such as yrself to put yrself out to the world as having such a monopoly. A.nd unfortunately such faith in yr own rectitude is what has helped bring us the current bloodbath that is the israeli palestinian conflict. If you look at some of the worst tragedies of Jewish history, they were caused by Jews like you who claimed to know the right path and it always led to war against our so called enemies: Rome in particular. Look where faith in Bar Kochba got us. Look where faith in yr beloved Rav Meir Kahane is taking Israel. No, if Jews like you were to control Israel’s destiny it would be destroyed. Then you & the survivors would come crying on our shoulders for refuge. And you’d have a million excuses for the disaster blaming eveyrone but yr own selves.
And call me or any other Jew by the odious term u used above & u won’t comment here again. Fahrshtet??
I am not fighting the God of Israel, that is my God. My God doesn’t allow me to kill other Jews as yours does. My God doesn’t allow me to kill Arabs or Muslims as yours does. Yours is the God of Judea. Mine is the God of Israel. The God of Israel trumps the God of Judea every time.
For calling me an “enemy of God” you’ve richly earned your banishment. And may the memory of you and everyone who believes as you do be erased, just as one of your friends tried to publish a comment here in which he wished the memory of the martyr Yizhak Rabin to be so erased. I don’t know whether you believe in Hell or not, if you do you’ll end up there & richly deserve that punishment as well.
B”H – I don’t know if you talk to me or not, but if you do, let me remind you that one of my grandfathers was killed by the nazis and one of my grandmother comitted suicide after the war because of this, so I do not accept traitors like you dispensing cheap offenses. If you knew what Torah is, you’d think and talk differently. Having said this, democracy indeed does not represent a value for me, in as much as it is a foreign culture to Judaism: We do what Hashem, our G-d wants from us, not what the majority of people think. With other words we don’t go by numbers, but by truth. For Americans like you numbers are holy. For Jews, G-d is.