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Amalek

Amalek

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The Amalekites are a people mentioned a number of times in the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

. They are considered to be descended from an ancestor Amalek.

According to the Book of Genesis and 1 Chronicles
Books of Chronicles
The Books of Chronicles are part of the Hebrew Bible. In the Masoretic Text, it appears as the first or last book of the Ketuvim . Chronicles largely parallels the Davidic narratives in the Books of Samuel and the Books of Kings...

, Amalek , was the son of Eliphaz
Eliphaz
Eliphaz was the first-born son of Esau by his wife Adah. He had six sons, one of whom was Amalek, born to his concubine Timna, who was the ancestral enemy of the Israelite people ....

 and the grandson of Esau
Esau
Esau , in the Hebrew Bible, is the oldest son of Isaac. He is mentioned in the Book of Genesis, and by the minor prophets, Obadiah and Malachi. The New Testament later references him in the Book of Romans and the Book of Hebrews....

 (Gen. 36:12; 1 Chr. 1:36); the chief of an Edomite tribe (Gen. 36:16). His mother was a Horite
Horites
Horites or Horim were a cave-dwelling people mentioned in the Torah inhabiting areas around Mount Seir. They have been identified with Egyptian references to Khar , which concern a southern region of Canaan...

, a tribe whose territory the descendants of Esau had seized.

According to the genealogy in Gen. 36:12; 1 Chr. 1:36. Amalek is a son of Esau's son Eliphaz
Eliphaz
Eliphaz was the first-born son of Esau by his wife Adah. He had six sons, one of whom was Amalek, born to his concubine Timna, who was the ancestral enemy of the Israelite people ....

 and of the concubine Timna, a Horite and sister of Lotan. Gen. 36:16 refers to him as the "chief of Amalek" thus his name can be understood to be a title derived from that of the clan or territory over which he ruled. Indeed an extra-Biblical tradition recorded by Nachmanides relates that the Amalekites were not descended from the grandson of Esau but from a man named Amalek after whom this grandson was later named. Such an eponymous ancestor of the Amalekites is also mentioned in Old Arabian poetry.

According to Muslim historians such as Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldūn or Ibn Khaldoun was an Arab Tunisian historiographer and historian who is often viewed as one of the forerunners of modern historiography, sociology and economics...

 and Ali ibn al-Athir
Ali ibn al-Athir
Abu al-Hassan Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad, better known as Ali 'Izz al-Din Ibn al-Athir al-Jazari was a Kurdish Muslim historian from the Ibn Athir family...

, Amalek is a name given to the Amorites and the Canaanites.

The name is sometimes interpreted as "dweller in the valley", but most specialists regard the origin to be unknown (M. Weippert, Semitische Nomaden des zweiten Jahrtausends. Biblica vol. 55, 1974, 265-280, 427-433).

In is the singular of giant, and the plural is (عمالقة, ʿamāliqah) or (عماليق, ʿamālīq), suggesting the sons of this tribe were known for being unusually tall.

Amalekites


Some interpret Gen. 14:7 (which refers to the "land of the Amalekites") to mean that the Amalekites existed as early as the time of Abraham, in the region that would later become the Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 province of Arabia Petraea
Arabia Petraea
Arabia Petraea, also called Provincia Arabia or simply Arabia, was a frontier province of the Roman Empire beginning in the 2nd century; it consisted of the former Nabataean kingdom in modern Jordan, southern modern Syria, the Sinai Peninsula and northwestern Saudi Arabia. Its capital was Petra...

. This view corroborates Nachmanides' claim of an origin for the Amalekites earlier than Esau's grandson. However, the passage in question does not require this interpretation as it may be referring to the region by a name from a later era. However, the Arab historian Abu al-Hasan 'Alī al-Mas'ūdī, citing 'traditional' Arab history, relates that the Amalekites did indeed exist at this early period having originated in the region of Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 before the time of Abraham.

In the Pentateuch, the Amalekites are nomads who attacked the Hebrews at Rephidim
Rephidim
Rephidim was one of the places visited by the Israelites during their exodus from Egypt.The Israelites had come from the wilderness of Sin. At Rephidim, the Israelites found no water to drink, and in their distress they blamed Moses for their troubles, to the point where Moses feared that they...

  in the desert of Sinai during their exodus from Egypt: "smiting the hindmost, all that were feeble behind," . The Tanakh
Tanakh
The Tanakh is a name used in Judaism for the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh is also known as the Masoretic Text or the Miqra. The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: The Torah , Nevi'im and Ketuvim —hence...

 recognizes the Amalekites as indigenous tribesmen, "the first of the nations" . In the southern lowlands too, perhaps the dry grazing lands that are now the Negev
Negev
The Negev is a desert and semidesert region of southern Israel. The Arabs, including the native Bedouin population of the region, refer to the desert as al-Naqab. The origin of the word Neghebh is from the Hebrew root denoting 'dry'...

 (Num. 12, 14), there were aboriginal Amalekites who were daunting adversaries of the Hebrews in the earliest times. "They dwelt in the land of the south...from Havilah
Havilah
Havilah is in several books of the Bible referring to both land and people.The story of the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2:11: "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads...

 until thou comest to Shur
Shur (Bible)
Shur is a location mentioned several times in the Hebrew Bible. When Hagar flees from Abraham, the Angel of the Lord find her by a "spring on the way to Shur." .According to Exodus 15:22, Marah is located in the "wilderness of Shur."...

" . At times said to be allied with the Moab
Moab
Moab is the historical name for a mountainous strip of land in Jordan. The land lies alongside much of the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. The existence of the Kingdom of Moab is attested to by numerous archeological findings, most notably the Mesha Stele, which describes the Moabite victory over...

ites (Judg. 3:13) and the Midian
Midian
Midian , Madyan , or Madiam is a geographical place and a people mentioned in the Bible and in the Qur'an. It is believed to be in northwest Saudi Arabia on the east shore of the Gulf of Aqaba and the northern Red Sea...

ites (Judges
Book of Judges
The Book of Judges is the seventh book of the Hebrew bible and the Christian Old Testament. Its title describes its contents: it contains the history of Biblical judges, divinely inspired prophets whose direct knowledge of Yahweh allows them to act as decision-makers for the Israelites, as...

 6:3). One may consider the hypothesis that each of their kings
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

 bore the hereditary name of Agag
Agag
Agag was the name of two kings of the Amalekites mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. It has been conjectured that the name was a standing title of the kings of the Amalekites...

 (Num. 24:7; 1 Sam. 15:8). They also attacked the Israelites at Hormah
Hormah
Hormah , also known by its Canaanite name Zephath in an unidentified city in the Hebrew Bible, mentioned as one of the cities captured by Joshua...

 (Num. 14:45). Saul
Saul the King
According to the Bible, Saul was the first king of the united Kingdom of Israel. He was anointed by the prophet Samuel and reigned from Gibeah. He commited suicide to avoid arrest in the battle against the Philistines at Mount Gilboa, during which three of his sons were also killed...

 and his army destroyed most of the people, and earned Samuel's wrath for leaving some of the people and livestock alive against God's command. Saul and the tribal leaders also hesitated to kill Agag, so Samuel
Samuel
Samuel is a leader of ancient Israel in the Books of Samuel in the Hebrew Bible. He is also known as a prophet and is mentioned in the Qur'an....

 himself executed the Amalekite king .

Agag's death might be expected to have been the end of the Amalekites; however, they reappear in later periods described in the Bible (see below). Even Samuel, before hacking Agag to pieces, says to Agag: "As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women." This seems to mean that Samuel believes Agag's mother to be alive, in spite of his obvious conviction that by killing Agag he was completing God's order to exterminate all Amalekites. Such passages raise questions about belief that persons were alive in Sheol after death or just how God's command was understood in the biblical period.

War against the Amalekites


As the Jewish Encyclopedia put it, "David waged a sacred war of extermination against the Amalekites," who may have subsequently disappeared from history. Long after, in the time of Hezekiah
Hezekiah
Hezekiah was the son of Ahaz and the 14th king of Judah. Edwin Thiele has concluded that his reign was between c. 715 and 686 BC. He is also one of the most prominent kings of Judah mentioned in the Hebrew Bible....

, five hundred Simeonites annihilated the remnant "of the Amalekites that had escaped" on Mount Seir, and settled in their place (1 Chr. 4:42-43).

The Biblical relationship between the Hebrew and Amalekite tribes was that the Amalekite tribes without provocation pounced on the Hebrews when they were weak. The Amalekites became associated with ruthlessness and trickery and tyranny, even more so than Pharaoh or the Philistines, and required a ruthless response:
"8 Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. 9 So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” 10 So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword.
"14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this as a memorial in a book and recite it in the ears of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, The Lord is my banner, 16 saying, “A hand upon the throne of the Lord Jacob! The Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation." (Exodus 17)


This enmity is repeated in Numbers 24, in Balaam's fourth and final oracle:
"20 Then he looked on Amalek and took up his discourse and said, Amalek was the first among the nations, but its end is utter destruction.


And again in the law, in Deuteronomy 25:
"17 “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt, 18 how he attacked you on the way when you were faint and weary, and cut off your tail, those who were lagging behind you, and he did not fear God. 19 Therefore when the Lord your God has given you rest from all your enemies around you, in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you shall not forget."


The fighting is mentioned again in Judges 3:13, in the Judgeship of Ehud, and again under Gideon, as the Amalekites allied with the Midianites (Judges 6:3, 6:33, 7:12). This enmity is also the background of the command of the Lord to Saul
Saul
-People:Saul is a given/first name in English, the Anglicized form of the Hebrew name Shaul from the Hebrew Bible:* Saul , including people with this given namein the Bible:* Saul , a king of Edom...

:
"2 Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. 3 Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey." (1 Sam. 15:2-3).


Saul's failure to obey this command cost him his kingship. Note the commentary on this total destruction later by Samuel, when Saul summons him from the dead through prophetic vision literary tool:
"16 And Samuel said, 'Why then do you ask me, since the Lord has turned from you and become your enemy? 17 The Lord has done to you as he spoke by me, for the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, David. 18 Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord and did not carry out his fierce wrath against Amalek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you this day." (1 Sam 28)


A later Romanized Jewish author also commented on this event:
"He betook himself to slay the women and the children, and thought he did not act therein either barbarously or inhumanly; first, because they were enemies whom he thus treated, and, in the next place, because it was done by the command of God, whom it was dangerous not to obey" (Flavius Josephus, Antiquites Judicae, Book VI, Chapter 7).


The destruction of animals and booty, however, was not universal at Saul's time. This was evidently a command for a particular battle. His contemporary David handled the matter differently a few years later.
"8 Now David and his men went up and made raids against the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites, for these were the inhabitants of the land from of old, as far as Shur, to the land of Egypt. 9And David would strike the land and would leave neither man nor woman alive, but would take away the sheep, the oxen, the donkeys, the camels, and the garments, and come back to Achish."

Survival of the Amalekites


It is not clear if the historical Amalekites were exterminated or not. 1 Samuel 15:7-8 seems to imply ("He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword.") that - after Agag was also killed - the people of Agag were extinct, but in a later story in the time of Hezekiah, the Simeonites annihilated some Amalekites on Mount Seir, and settled in their place: "And five hundred of these Simeonites, led by Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi, invaded the hill country of Seir. They killed the remaining Amalekites who had escaped, and they have lived there to this day." (1 Chr. 4:42-43).

Haman and the Book of Esther


In the Book of Esther
Book of Esther
The Book of Esther is a book in the Ketuvim , the third section of the Jewish Tanakh and is part of the Christian Old Testament. The Book of Esther or the Megillah is the basis for the Jewish celebration of Purim...

, the arch villain is Haman
Haman (Bible)
Haman is the main antagonist in the Book of Esther, who, according to Old Testament tradition, was a 5th Century BC noble and vizier of the Persian empire under King Ahasuerus, traditionally identified as Artaxerxes II...

, an Amalekite (his origin is evident from the epithet the Agagite—i.e., descendant of the agags, Amalekite kings) that led the plot to kill the Jews. Because the Lord promised to "blot out the name" of Amalek (Exodus 17:14), it is customary when the book of Esther is read at the Purim
Purim
Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire from destruction in the wake of a plot by Haman, a story recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther .Purim is celebrated annually according to the Hebrew calendar on the 14th...

 festival, for the audience to make noise whenever "Haman" is mentioned, so that his name is not heard.

Ethical issues


Some commentators have discussed the ethics of the commandment to exterminate all the Amalekites, including the command to kill all the women, children, teenagers, little girls, little boys and the notion of collective punishment.

Maimonides
Maimonides
Moses ben-Maimon, called Maimonides and also known as Mūsā ibn Maymūn in Arabic, or Rambam , was a preeminent medieval Jewish philosopher and one of the greatest Torah scholars and physicians of the Middle Ages...

 explains that the commandment of killing out the nation of Amalek requires the Jewish people to peacefully request of them to accept upon themselves the Noachide laws and pay a tax to the Jewish kingdom. Only if they refuse must they be physically killed.

Some commentators, such as Rabbi Hayim Palaggi
Hayim Palaggi
Haim Palachi, also spelt Palaggi, was a Turkish author; maternal grandson of Joseph ben Hayyim Hazan, author of Hikre Leb; pupil of Isaac Gategno, author of Bet Yitzhak...

 (1788–1869) argued that Jews had lost the tradition of distinguishing Amalekites from other people, and therefore the commandment of killing them could not practically be applied ("...We can rely on the maxim that in ancient times, Sennacherib
Sennacherib
Sennacherib |Sîn]] has replaced brothers for me"; Aramaic: ) was the son of Sargon II, whom he succeeded on the throne of Assyria .-Rise to power:...

 confused the lineage of many nations." [Eynei Kol Ḥai, 73, on Sanhedrin 96b])

Commandments to exterminate Amalekites


Of the 613 mitzvot
613 mitzvot
The 613 commandments is a numbering of the statements and principles of law, ethics, and spiritual practice contained in the Torah or Five Books of Moses...

 (commandments) followed by Orthodox Jews, three refer to the Amalek: to remember what the Amalekites did to Jews, to not forget what the Amalekites did to Jews, and to destroy the Amalekites utterly. The rabbis derived these from Deuteronomy
Deuteronomy
The Book of Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Hebrew Bible, and of the Jewish Torah/Pentateuch...

 25:17-18, Exodus 17:14 and 1 Sam. 15:3. Rashi
Rashi
Shlomo Yitzhaki , or in Latin Salomon Isaacides, and today generally known by the acronym Rashi , was a medieval French rabbi famed as the author of a comprehensive commentary on the Talmud, as well as a comprehensive commentary on the Tanakh...

 explains the third commandment:
From man unto woman, from infant unto suckling, from ox unto sheep, so that the name of Amalek not be mentioned even with reference to an animal by saying "This animal belonged to Amalek"..

Listing of Amalek/Amalekite references in Hebrew Scripture

  • Genesis 14:7; 36:12, 16
  • Exodus 17:8-11, 13-14, 16
  • Numbers
    Book of Numbers
    The Book of Numbers is the fourth book of the Hebrew Bible, and the fourth of five books of the Jewish Torah/Pentateuch....

    13:29; 14:25, 43, 45; 24:20; 25:19
  • Deuteronomy
    Deuteronomy
    The Book of Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Hebrew Bible, and of the Jewish Torah/Pentateuch...

    25:17
  • Judges
    Book of Judges
    The Book of Judges is the seventh book of the Hebrew bible and the Christian Old Testament. Its title describes its contents: it contains the history of Biblical judges, divinely inspired prophets whose direct knowledge of Yahweh allows them to act as decision-makers for the Israelites, as...

    3:13; 5:14; 6:3, 33; 7:12; 10:12; 12:15
  • 1 Samuel 14:48;15:2-8, 15, 18, 20, 32; 27:8; 28:18; 30:1, 13, 18
  • 2 Samuel 1:1, 8, 13; 8:12
  • 1 Chronicles 1:36; 4:43; 18:11
  • Psalms
    Psalms
    The Book of Psalms , commonly referred to simply as Psalms, is a book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible...

    83:7

Allies of the Amalekites


In the books of 1 Samuel and Judges, the tribe of Kenites are associated with the Amalekites, sometimes their allies, sometimes allied with the tribes of Israel. The Amalek people are invariably enemies of Israel. Saul's successful expedition against the unidentified "city of Amalek," in the plain (1 Sam. 15) resulted in the capture of the Amalekite king, Agag.

In Rohl's Reconstruction


David Rohl
David Rohl
New Chronology is the term used to describe an alternative Chronology of the ancient Near East developed by English Egyptologist David Rohl and other researchers beginning with A Test of Time: The Bible - from Myth to History in 1995...

 moves the Amalekites from the Negev
Negev
The Negev is a desert and semidesert region of southern Israel. The Arabs, including the native Bedouin population of the region, refer to the desert as al-Naqab. The origin of the word Neghebh is from the Hebrew root denoting 'dry'...

 and the Sinai to the northern Land of Israel
Land of Israel
The Land of Israel is the Biblical name for the territory roughly corresponding to the area encompassed by the Southern Levant, also known as Canaan and Palestine, Promised Land and Holy Land. The belief that the area is a God-given homeland of the Jewish people is based on the narrative of the...

, in the neighborhood of Mount Carmel
Mount Carmel
Mount Carmel ; , Kármēlos; , Kurmul or جبل مار إلياس Jabal Mar Elyas 'Mount Saint Elias') is a coastal mountain range in northern Israel stretching from the Mediterranean Sea towards the southeast. Archaeologists have discovered ancient wine and oil presses at various locations on Mt. Carmel...

 and Jenin
Jenin
Jenin is the largest town in the Northern West Bank, and the third largest city overall. It serves as the administrative center of the Jenin Governorate and is a major agricultural center for the surrounding towns. In 2007, the city had a population of 120,004 not including the adjacent refugee...

. See New Chronology (Rohl).

Amalekites in post-biblical era


In Jewish
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 tradition, the Amalekites came to represent the archetypal enemy of the Jews. The concept has been used by some hassidic rabbi
Rabbi
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

s (particularly the Baal Shem Tov) to represent atheism
Atheism
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

 or the rejection of God. Nur Masalha, Elliot Horowitz and Josef Stern suggest that Amalekites have come to represent an "eternally irreconcilable enemy" that wants to murder Jews, and that Jews in post-biblical times sometimes associate contemporary enemies with Haman or Amalekites, and that some Jews believe that pre-emptive violence is acceptable against such enemies.

Armenians as Amalekites


Beginning in the 10th century, and continuing until the 19th century, Armenians
Armenians
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

 were considered to be Amalekites by some Jewish authorities.

Jewish Communists as Amalekites


Rabbi Israel Kagan
Yisrael Meir Kagan
Yisrael Meir Poupko , known popularly as The Chofetz Chaim, was an influential Eastern European rabbi, Halakhist, posek, and ethicist whose works continue to be widely influential in Jewish life...

 was quoted as saying that the Yevsektsia were the offspring of Amalek.

Zionists as Amalekites


Rabbi Israel Kagan
Yisrael Meir Kagan
Yisrael Meir Poupko , known popularly as The Chofetz Chaim, was an influential Eastern European rabbi, Halakhist, posek, and ethicist whose works continue to be widely influential in Jewish life...

 was quoted as saying that the Zionists are the offspring of Amalek.

Nazis as Amalekites



The Nazis and Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 have been referred to as Amalekites.

A prominent 19th and early 20th century rabbi, Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, claimed upon Kaiser Wilhelm's visit to Palestine in 1898, three decades before Hitler's rise to power, he had a tradition from his teachers that the Germans are descended from the ancient Amalekites.

Samuel's words to Agag
Agag
Agag was the name of two kings of the Amalekites mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. It has been conjectured that the name was a standing title of the kings of the Amalekites...

: "As your sword bereaved women, so will your mother be bereaved among women." (Samuel 1:15:33) were quoted by Israeli President Itzhak Ben-Zvi in his handwriting in response to a telegram sent by Nazi
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 war criminal Adolf Eichmann
Adolf Eichmann
Adolf Otto Eichmann was a German Nazi and SS-Obersturmbannführer and one of the major organizers of the Holocaust...

's wife pleading for clemency after he was taken to Israel and sentenced to death.

Palestinians as Amalekites


Nur Masalha and other scholars describe several associations of modern Palestinians with Amalekites, including recommendations by rabbi Israel Hess
Israel Hess
Israel Hess was a radical right-wing Israeli rabbi.Israel Hess was a controversial figure who advocated exterminating the Palestinians as a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict...

 to kill Palestinians, which are based on biblical verses such as 1 Samuel 15. Shulamit Aloni
Shulamit Aloni
Shulamit Aloni is an Israeli politician and left-wing activist. She is a prominent member of the Israeli peace camp, founded the Ratz party and was leader of the Meretz party and served as Minister of Education from 1992 to 1993.-Biography:...

, a member of the Israeli Knesset
Knesset
The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

 indicated in 2003 that Jewish children in Israel were being taught in religious schools that Palestinians were Amalek, and that therefore total genocide was a religious obligation.

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