Moshe Gafni

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Moshe Gafni
Date of birth (1952-05-05) 5 May 1952 (age 72)
Place of birth Bnei Brak, Israel
Knessets 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20
Faction represented in Knesset
1988–1992 Degel HaTorah
1994–1996 United Torah Judaism
1996 Degel HaTorah
1996–1998 United Torah Judaism
1999–2005 United Torah Judaism
2005–2006 Degel HaTorah
2006–2008 United Torah Judaism
2008–2009 Degel HaTorah
2009– United Torah Judaism

Moshe Gafni (Hebrew: משה גפני‎, born 5 May 1952) is an Israeli politician and Member of the Knesset for the Haredi party Degel HaTorah.


Born in Bnei Brak, Gafni was educated in a yeshiva and later worked as head of a Kollel. He was first elected to the Knesset on Degel HaTorah's list in 1988, and was appointed Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs in Yitzhak Shamir's government in 1990. For the 1992 elections the party joined Agudat Yisrael in forming an alliance called United Torah Judaism, which won four seats. Although he initially lost his seat, Gafni entered the Knesset in 1994 as part of a rotation agreement between the two factions. A similar arrangement operated after the 1996 elections, with Gafni taking the seat for the first half of the session (i.e. until 1998).

Early elections in 1999 meant that Gafni reappeared in the Knesset sooner than expected. This time no rotation agreement was in place, so he served his full term, and was re-elected in both 2003 and 2006. When Degel HaTorah split from Agudat Yisrael during the latter stages of the 16th Knesset, Gafni was appointed the party's Parliamentary Group Chairman.

Gafni was strongly opposed to the Supreme Court ruling that the state must recognise gay marriages carried out abroad, stating "We don't have a Jewish state here. We have Sodom and Gomorrah here."[1] However, he was one of the few ultra-orthodox public figures to condemn the violence carried out by members of the community over plans for the 2006 Jerusalem gay pride parade.[2]

In the 18th Knesset, Gafni was the chairman of the Knesset's financial committee.

Moshe Gafni was attacked in Mea Shearim on 24 June 2010 as he emerged from a synagogue. The two United Torah Judaism MKs (Uri Maklev and Moshe Gafni) had paid a visit to the Slonim rabbi, who lives in Mea Shearim and then entered a synagogue to pray. When they emerged they were set upon by young extremists from Neturei Karta who spat at them and assaulted them with stones, blows and a chair.[citation needed]


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