Weiss: Earlier today I complained that Americans are not getting the news about what Israel is becoming. My endless complaint. Here is someone who can cut the corridor, as they say: Max Blumenthal, whose message from Jerusalem a year ago was killed and killed and killed but still it lived, and who is now exploring the violent underbelly of Israeli settler fundamentalism, which is completely supported by the government. Here he’s writing about the origins of a tract that encourages the murder of goyim, and tying it into the genocidal speech toward Palestinians by leading Orthodox rabbi Ovadia Yosef the other day (not part of this excerpt). Terrorism, in front of our eyes:
As soon as it was published late last year, Torat Ha’Melech sparked a national uproar. The controversy began when an Israeli tabloid panned the book’s contents as “230 pages on the laws concerning the killing of non-Jews, a kind of guidebook for anyone who ponders the question of if and when it is permissible to take the life of a non-Jew.” According to the book’s author, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira… “If we kill a gentile who has has violated one of the seven commandments… there is nothing wrong with the murder.”… Citing Jewish law as his source (or at least a very selective interpretation of it) he declared: “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.”
In January, Shapira was briefly detained by the Israeli police, while two leading rabbis who endorsed the book, Dov Lior and Yaakov Yosef, were summoned to interrogations by the Shabak. However, the rabbis refused to appear at the interrogations, essentially thumbing their noses at the state and its laws. And the government did nothing. The episode raised grave questions about the willingness of the Israeli government to confront the ferociously racist swathe of the country’s rabbinate…
In response to the rabbis’ public rebuke of the state’s legal system, the Israeli Attorney General and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu kept silent. Indeed, since the publication of
, Netanyahu has strenuously avoided criticizing its contents or the author’s leading supporters. Like so many prime ministers before him, he has been cowed into submission by Israel’s religious nationalist community. But Netanyahu appears to be particularly impotent. His weakness stems from the fact that the religious nationalist right figures prominently in his governing coalition and comprises a substantial portion of his political base….
The disturbing philosophy expressed in Torat Ha’Melech emerged from the fevered atmosphere of a settlement called Yitzhar located in the northern West Bank near the Palestinian city of Nablus. Shapira leads the settlement’s Od Yosef Chai yeshiva, holding sway over a small army of fanatics who are eager to lash out at the Palestinians tending to their crops and livestock in the valleys below them. One of Shapira’s followers, an American immigrant named Jack Teitel, has confessed to murdering two innocent Palestinians and attempting to the kill the liberal Israeli historian Ze’ev Sternhell with a mail bomb. Teitel is suspected of many more murders, including an attack on a Tel Aviv gay community center.
Despite its apparent role as a terror training institute,
dollars from the Israeli Ministry of Social Affairs since 2007, while the Ministry of Education has pumped over 250 thousand dollars into the yeshiva’s coffers between 2006 and 2007.