Thursday, August 05, 2010

Israel / Palestine

Israeli Rabbi Preaches "Slaughter" of Gentile Babies
By Jonathan Cook, August 2, 2010
"A rabbi from one of the most violent settlements in the West Bank was questioned on suspicion of incitement last week as Israeli police stepped up their investigation into a book in which he sanctions the killing of non-Jews, including children and babies. Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira is one of the leading ideologues of the most extreme wing of the religious settler movement. He is known to be a champion of the 'price-tag' policy of reprisal attacks on Palestinians, including punishing them for attempts by officials to enforce Israeli law against the settlements. So far the policy has chiefly involved violent harassment of Palestinians, with settlers inflicting beatings, attacking homes, throwing stones, burning fields, killing livestock and poisoning wells. It is feared, however, that Shapira's book The King's Torah, published last year, is intended to offer ideological justifications for widening the scope of such attacks to include killing Palestinians, even children. ... In the 230-page book, Shapira and his co-author, Rabbi Yosef Elitzur, also from Yitzhar, argue that Jewish law permits the killing of non-Jews in a wide variety of circumstances. The terms 'gentiles' and 'non-Jews' in the book are widely understood as references to Palestinians.
They write that Jews have the right to kill gentiles in any situation in which 'a non-Jew's presence endangers Jewish lives' even if the gentile is 'not at all guilty for the situation that has been created.' The book sanctions the killing of non-Jewish children and babies: 'There is justification for killing babies if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us, and in such a situation they may be harmed deliberately, and not only during combat with adults.' The rabbis suggest that harming the children of non-Jewish leaders is justified if it is likely to bring pressure to bear on them to change policy. The authors also advocate committing 'cruel deeds to create the proper balance of terror' and treating all members of an 'enemy nation' as targets for retaliation, even if they are not directly participating in hostile activities. ... An investigation last year by Yesh Din, an Israeli human rights group, found Shapira's seminary had received government funds worth at least $300,000 in recent years. American and British groups have also contributed tens of thousands of dollars in tax-deductible donations. ... The settlers have repeatedly rampaged through nearby Palestinian villages, most notoriously in September 2008, when they were filmed shooting at homes in Assira al-Kabaliya, smashing properties and daubing Stars of David on homes. Ehud Olmert, the prime minister of the time, termed the settlers' actions a 'pogrom.' The same year a religious student from Yitzhar was arrested for firing home-made rockets at Palestinian villages close by. [...]"

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