Founder of Israeli Settler Movement Rabbi Moshe Levinger Dies at 80


moshe levingerRabbi Moshe Levinger, who founded the militant Gush Emunim movement which established Jewish settlements in the West Bank, died aged 80 today,  relatives said.

Born in 1935 in Yerushalayim to a family of German origin, Rabbi Levinger studied in his youth under Rav Tzvi Yehudah Kook, the spiritual father of religious Zionism.

Shortly after the 1967 Six-Day War, Rav Levinger and a group of like-minded people decided to settle cities that are important sites from Jewish history, such as Chevron and Bais Lechem.

In September 1967, the Labor government authorised the creation of the first settlement at Kfar Etzion, on the ruins of a kibbutz destroyed by the Arab Legion on the eve of the 1948 declaration of the state of Israel.

Rav Levinger founded Gush Emunim, a movement that has championed the establishment of Jewish settlements in the West Bank since 1974.

Rav Levinger and his wife Miriam had 11 children.