In the past two weeks, two more Palestinians have been murdered by Ultra-Orthodox settlers. (See Haaretz articles: "Palestinians: Rock-throwing teen shot dead by West Bank settlers" and "Palestinian killed after settlers open fire in West Bank village") Now “a senior figure in religious Zionism," Rabbi Dov Lior, chief rabbi of Arba, is being sought by police for questioning. Dov Lior publicly agrees with the controversial book The King's Torah, that Jews have the right to kill Gentiles.
The rabbi refuses to report to police headquarters, saying he "will not take part in the dishonoring of the Torah." Two thousand of his supporters gathered around his home Tuesday, barring police from serving the warrant. Haaretz reports that Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari also supports the rabbi and calls the warrant a travesty. "This is a regime of fear…The issuance of an arrest warrant against a great Torah figure of such magnitude, when all this is about is the backing he gave to a book, is a crossing of a red line, McCarthyism…" he said.
Actually, this is just mild unpleasantness between the Israeli government and Ultra-Orthodox Jews who interpret the Talmud and Zohar (Kabala) literally—as the Pharisees who wrote these books intended. The government also venerates the Talmud. But it must appear to protect the rights of Palestinians and Arabs in the Occupied Territories. That isn’t made easier by the facts that Israel’s chief rabbinate is now largely controlled by Ultra-Orthodox or that Orthodoxy is the official religion of Israel.
How intent is the government on prosecution of Lior? As could be expected, the case againstRabbi (and former MK) Yaakov Yosef, who coauthored The King's Torah and was arrested in January 2010, was thrown out because of "incorrect procedures" by the police.
For much more background on this developing conflict, read my article, "The Complete Guide for Killing Gentiles."
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