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Shocking Religious Defense of Killing Non-Jews (with Video)

Rabbi Yizhak Shapira

(hat tip: D. Bartholomew)

How to Kill Goyim and Influence People: Israeli Rabbis Defend Book’s Shocking Religious Defense of Killing Non-Jews (with Video)

by Max Blumenthal

August 30, 2010

When I went into the Jewish religious book emporium, Pomeranz, in central Jerusalem to inquire about the availability of a book called Torat Ha’Melech, or the King’s Torah, a commotion immediately ensued. “Are you sure you want it?” the owner, M. Pomeranz, asked me half-jokingly. “The Shabak [Israel’s internal security service] is going to want a word with you if you do.” As customers stopped browsing and began to stare in my direction, Pomeranz pointed to a security camera affixed to a wall. “See that?” he told me. “It goes straight to the Shabak!”

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, “Non-Jews are “uncompassionate by nature” and should be killed in order to “curb their evil inclinations.” “If we kill a gentile who has has violated one of the seven commandments… there is nothing wrong with the murder,” Shapira insisted. 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. “Something like this has never happened before, even though it seems as if everything possible has already happened,” Israeli commentator Yossi Sarid remarked with astonishment. “Two rabbis [were] summoned to a police investigation, and announc[ed] that they will not go. Even settlers are kind enough to turn up.”

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 Torat Ha’Melech, 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. For Netanyahu, a confrontation with the rabid rabbis could amount to political suicide, or could force him into an alliance with centrist forces who do not share his commitment to the settlement enterprise in the West Bank.

On August 18, a pantheon of Israel’s top fundamentalist rabbis flaunted their political power during an ad hoc congress they convened at Jerusalem’s Ramada Renaissance hotel. Before an audience of 250 supporters including the far-right Israeli Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari, the rabbis declared in the name of the Holy Torah that would not submit to any attempt by the government to regulate their political activities — even and especially if those activities included inciting terrorist attacks against non-Jews. As one wizened rabbi after another rose up to inveigh against the government’s investigation of Torat Ha’Melech until his voice grew hoarse, the gathering degenerated into calls for murdering not just non-Jews, but secular Jews as well.

Watch the video (article continues below):

“The obligation to sacrifice your life is above all others when fighting those who wish to destroy the authority of the Torah,” bellowed Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira, head of the yeshiva in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan. “It is not only true against non-Jews who are trying to destroy it but against Jewish people from any side.”

The government-funded terror academy

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, Od Yosef Chai has raked in nearly fifty thousand 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. The yeshiva has also benefited handsomely from donations from a tax-exempt American non-profit called the Central Fund of Israel. Located inside the Marcus Brothers Textiles store in midtown Manhattan, the Central Fund transferred at least thirty thousand to Od Yosef Chai between 2007 and 2008.

Though he does not name “the enemy” in the pages of his book, Shapira’s longstanding connection to terrorist attacks against Palestinian civilians exposes the true identity of his targets. In 2006, Shapira was briefly held by Israeli police for urging his supporters to murder all Palestinians over the age of 13. Two years later, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz, he signed a rabbinical letter in support of Israeli Jews who had brutally assaulted two Arab youths on the country’s Holocaust Remembrance Day. That same year, Shapira was arrested under suspicion that he helped orchestrate a rocket attack against a Palestinian village near Nablus. Though he was released, Shapira’s name arose in connection with another act of terror, when in January, the Israeli police raided his settlement seeking the vandals who set fire to a nearby mosque. After arresting ten settlers, the Shabak held five of Shapira’s confederates under suspicion of arson.

Friends in high places

Despite his longstanding involvement in terrorism, or perhaps because of it, Shapira counts Israel’s leading fundamentalist rabbis among his supporters. His most well-known backer is Dov Lior the leader of the Shavei-Hevron yeshiva at Kiryat Arba, a radical Jewish settlement near the occupied Palestinian city of Hebron and a hotbed of Jewish terrorism. Lior has vigorously endorsed Torat Ha’Melech, calling it “very relevant, especially in this time.”

Lior’s enthusiasm for Shapira’s tract stems from his own eliminationist attitude toward non-Jews. For example, while Lior served as the IDF’s top rabbi, he instructed soldiers: “There is no such thing as civilians in wartime… A thousand non-Jewish lives are not worth a Jew’s fingernail!” Indeed, there are only a few non-Jews whose lives Lior would demand to be spared. They are captured Palestinian militants who, as he once suggested, could be used as subjects for live human medical experiments.

Otherwise, Lior appears content to watch Palestinians perish as they did at the muzzle of Dr. Baruch Goldstein’s machine gun in 1994. Goldstein, who massacred 29 Palestinians and wounded 150 in a shooting spree while they prayed in Hebron’s Cave of the Patriarchs mosque, was a compatriot and neighbor of Lior in the settlement of Kiryat Arba. At Goldstein’s funeral, Lior celebrated the massacre as an act carried out “to sanctify the holy name of God.” He then extolled Goldstein as “a righteous man.” Thanks to Lior’s efforts, a shrine to Goldstein was constructed in center of Kiryat Arba so that locals could celebrate the killer’s deeds and pass his legacy down to future generations.

Though Lior’s inflammatory statements resulted in his being barred from running for election to the Supreme Rabbinical Council, according to journalist Daniel Estrin, the rabbi remains “a respected figure among many mainstream ZIonists.” By extension, he maintains considerable influence among religious elements in the IDF. In 2008, when the IDF’s chief rabbi, Brigadier General Avichai Ronski, brought a group of military intelligence officers to Hebron for a special tour, he concluded the day with a private meeting with Lior, who was allowed to revel the officers with his views on modern warfare — “no such thing as civilians in wartime.”

Besides Lior, Torat Ha’Melech has earned support from another nationally prominent fundamentalist rabbi: Yaakov Yosef. Yosef is the leader of the Hazon Yaakov Yeshiva in Jerusalem and a former member of Knesset. Perhaps more significantly, he is the son of Ovadiah Yosef, the former chief rabbi of Israel and spiritual leader of the Shas Party that forms a key segment of Netanyahu’s governing coalition.

Yaakov Yosef has brought his influence to bear in defense of Torat Ha’Melech, insisting at the August 18 convention in Jerusalem that the book was no different than the Hagadah that all Jews read from on the holiday of Passover. The Hagadah contains passages about killing non-Jews and so does the Bible, Yosef reminded his audience. “Does anyone want to change the Bible?” he asked.

Bibi buckles

Only days before direct negotiations in Washington between Israel and the Palestinian Authority planned for early September, Yaakov Yosef’s 89-year-old father, Ovadiah delivered his weekly sermon. With characteristic vitriol, he  declared: “All these evil people should perish from this world… God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians.”

The remarks have sparked an international furor and earned a stern rebuke from Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. “While the PLO is ready to resume negotiations in seriousness and good faith,” Erekat remarked, “a member of the Israeli government is calling for our destruction.”

Palestinian Israeli member of Knesset Jamal Zehalka subsequently demanded that the Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein put Yosef on trial for incitement. “If, heaven forbid, a Muslim spiritual leader were to make anti-Jewish comments of this sort,” Zehalka said, “he would be arrested immediately.”

Here was a perfect opportunity for Netanyahu to demonstrate sincerity about negotiations by  shedding an extremist ally in the name of securing peace. All he had to do was forcefully reject Yosef’s genocidal comments — a feat made all the easier by the White House’s condemnation of the rabbi. But the Israeli Prime Minister ducked for political cover instead, issuing a canned statement instead of a condemnation. “Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef’s remarks do not reflect Netanyahu’s views,” the statement read, “nor do they reflect the position of the Israeli government.”

By refusing to cut Yosef loose, his party remains a central actor in the Israeli government. Thus the statement by Netanyahu was not only weak. It was false.

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  • Glynda Hampel

    Dude this blog rules i cant believe i finally found what i was looking for, thanks bro.

  • Metal Goddess

    Afghanistan is about a lot of shit. Oil pipeline, any natural resources those folks have, and heroin. Yes, heroin. That damn Taliban forbade farmers from growing poppy crops and the CIA started hurting for black ops money because good poppy was getting hard to come by. We run into Afghanistan, take over, and by goodness poppy production was up by 75%. The good folks here in America need their heroin fixes and the CIA needs drug money. Amazing at how every country has their nutjobs, isn’t it? I think it’s like a bad disease. Quite honestly here in the good old States, it’s not vague, shadowy Islamic boogey men I worry about. It’s good old Christian fundamentalism. You want to talk about some loons. And they’re in several government positions, in various military ranks and in the Pentagon. Yep, we have some fireworks coming soon, I’m sure. Georgie started those two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq because Daddy and Dick told him to. You don’t honestly think they let Georgie make any serious decisions, do you? The man is a total retard. He can’t even speak English and that’s the only language he knows. Daddy and Dick worship the almighty dollar. That’s their god.

  • Jack

    @Abdullah; let’s assume that what you say is true and that the real reason the US invaded Afghanistan was to plunder it’s resources; what does that have to do with religious sentiments?

    See, the argument was that I conveniently left out Christianity, even though George W. Bush went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq based on his Evangelical beliefs. However, under scrutiny, it turns out faith had little to do with it.

  • Leo

    Jack

    Afghanistan is not about retribution. The Taliban agreed to hand Bin Laden to a neutral country in order for him to be put on trial. The US refused this very reasonable offer.

    Gas pipeline = reason why the US is in Afghanistan.

  • Mark

    Wow. This is the jews AlQaeda. It shows that every religion has its own sect. Jewish people are good people, just like Muslim or christian people. It is the freaks in these faiths that twist the faith. Can you imagine Moses justifying the killng of children? Just like Mohammed forbade the killing of girls when he bacame of profit since it was a tradition in Arabia to bury girls if the family does not want them and only wants a boy.

  • Les

    My comment didn’t go through from yesterday, must have been the links I included. :( Damn spam folder!

  • Abdullah

    @ Jack

    Honestly if you look at recent news like a month ago I believe america just now discovered a report done by the russians saying that Afghanistan has atleast $1 Trillion $$$$$ in resources.

    Here’s a link to the story/blog:
    http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/06/14/report-1-trillion-in-untapped-minerals-found-in-afghanistan/

    I don’t believe this was just “discovered” but known the whole time and is the impetus for the invasion. But I need to proof to say for sure. Someone will slip up eventually and let the cat out of the bag.

    Last week pat robertson claimed, and I quote “Afghanistan is our country”. He meant the u.s., I can’t find this on any website but I was watching to see what gems the old coot would come up with.

    And yes I’m sure the average Afghan will not benefit nothing from those resources, and will watch their wealth stripped from THEIR country just like the ‘Iraqis and other nations who are invaded by resource thieving countries.

    I’m such a ball of butterflies and rainbows:)

  • Jack

    Saeed; you seem to be confusing Neoconservatism for Christianity. But Neoconservatives like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Bill Kristol, etc. didn’t go to war in Iraq because of any religious sentiment; they went there to achieve certain geopolitical objectives.

    1. To strengthen American hegemony in the region
    2. To secure Western access to Iraq’s oil fields.
    3. To set up an example of a Western-style democracy, which would have a ‘domino-effect’ in the region.
    4. To alleviate the pressure Saddam Hussein exerted, though passively, on Israel.

    As far as Afghanistan goes, that was simply a form of retribution. ‘They’ had attacked us and ‘they’ needed to be punished, and anybody who deliberately got in the way deserved a hammering as well. There’s nothing specifically Christian about that. If you’re determined to blame an ideology, blame ‘Americanism’.

    If you want to find an equivalent of what Blumenthal describes in Christianity, you’d have to look in the direction of Trijicon’s imprint of bible verses on rifles and accusations by former employees that Blackwater CEO Erik Prince saw himself as somewhat of a modern day crusader, encouraging his mercenary personnel to kill as much Muslims as possible.

    Yet, there aren’t actually that many Christian churches and pastors endorsing killing the infidels. Which is odd, considering Christianity’s size. About 1,5 times larger than Islam, there ought to 1,5 as many hate preachers out there calling for terrorism and violence in the name of Jesus. Yet there aren’t, just as there aren’t any Christian terrorist cells in Islamic countries.

    Now, you might say: maybe there aren’t that many now, but there were a lot of them in the past, considering the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Religious Wars of Europe, the colonial conquests of the America’s, Africa and South-East Asia. But this only leads to the conclusion that something has changed in the course of Christianity which has also changed it’s character. For the better, I’d say.

  • julian riotoni

    Tony Blair’s crusade “In an interview with Michael Parkinson broadcast on ITV1 on 4 March 2006, Blair referred to the role of his Christian faith in his decision to go to war in Iraq, stating that he had prayed about the issue, and saying that God would judge him for his decision: “I think if you have faith about these things, you realise that judgement is made by other people … and if you believe in God, it’s made by God as well.”[30]”

  • Calm Down

    Methinks, bashing and demonizing other minorities won’t gain you respect in any way. Quite the opposite. More sense of proportionality, please.

  • saeed

    Jack you forgot to mention christianity, which has more adherants than Islam and over the past two thousand years has more blood on its hands than every other religion combined. Also its not quantity but quality, zionism in its current form has manifested into Chrisianity as well , the Iraq war was instigated by proven zionists Pearl, wolfitz etc etc, even Bush claimed he felt he was guided by God to go to war , take the number killed by the two iraq wars and take the number killed by what you call islamist terrorists and the number murdered by the zionist led wars easily outnumbers all other attacks by 1000 to 1, if you want to look at the real threat , look at the christian zionists so easily led by their Jewish zionist friends.

  • Jack

    Judaism has bigoted, hate mongering bigots as well as Islam, true, but the Islamic religion comprises of more than 30.000 times as much people; which, given the same share of bigoted fanatics taking things to the extreme, can also cause 30.000 times as much misery.

  • julian riotoni

    JD

    You hit the proverbial nail on the head, just goes to show you who really controls the media.

  • mindy1

    As a Jew, I disavow all who kill in the name of god

  • JD

    Yeah funny how muslim bashers are given tv shows and radio shows and treated as pundits but you say anything about anyone else like Dr Laura Mal Gibson Don Imus your a hate monger raceist bigot

  • Mossizle

    “The obligation to sacrifice your life is above all others when fighting those who wish to destroy the authority of the Torah”

    Isn’t that the suicide bomber logic that Spencer claims is unique to Islam?

  • http://jstreet.org J Street

    Julian,

    Zionism as a homeland for the Jews isn’t really a problem as long as they acknowledge and right the wrongs done in the past, and aim for a just solution to the conflict. The far right Zionists however are a problem but in the Jewish community they’re a minority, within the Christian Zionist community in America they are not a minority.

    It’s the Christian Armeggedon Agenda that is the problem, mainly because nobody is tackling or opposing it properly, other than our left wing alllies. This needs to be tackled by Muslims too, they bash the Jewish neo cons (all well and good) but why give the Messianic/Baptist/Armedggonites a free pass? Their theology is not really highlighted as much as it should be. Joel Rosenberg has millions of followers, so does Tim la haye and Hagee, yet no Muslim speaks out against these dangerous crackpots. Only our liberal allies do.

    They want war and blood shed and see both Jews and Muslims as infidels and a means to an end. They don’t see Israel as a home for Jews but as a means to an end.

    They[re baying for Iran war now after leading the US into Iraq for the Armegeddon. Where as the the Jewish neo con role is well known, the Muslims never condemn the Christian Zionist role. They don’t even know about it. and some even bleieve they’re led by the nose by the likes of Pipes. Pipes is seen as a dhimmi by these cultists thats how extreme they are.

    Christian Zionists oppose the two state solution, they want a war of Armedggeon and whilst there is a lot of hoo haa about Jewish extremists, the Christian Zionists who outnumber and are more insiduous get a free pass.

    I’m puzzled as to why so many Muslims (including at this blog) are determined to give these f**ers a free rein. if it’s due to ignorance, that is why we are having a problem fightign Islamophobia.

    Loon Watch is one of the few islamophobia watchdog that tackles this, though not as aggressively as it should in my opinion. Someone needs to go straight for their jugular like our left wing allies do (God Bless them).

  • julian riotoni

    “It’s noteworthy that the best Christain Zionsit hate mongering loon busters are all Jewish.”

    I’ve noticed that. Geller is a far right Zionist. Her aim is to promote Zionism not the Constitution whom she claims the Muslims are trying to supersede.

    Zionism has no place in America. Geller works for a foreign power.

    Interesting that she has been given a tv deal, fox news etc to spread her hate, one of her bosses owns Fox, News Corp. Another Zionist and Bilderberger, Murdoch.

  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mj-rosenberg MJ Rosenberg Rocks

    Max Blumenthal strikes again, thank you Emperor.

    Sorry to go off topic, but a suggestion for Loonwatch… There seems to be a lot of ignorance about Christian Zionism, and the influence of the likes of Hal Lindsey, Joel Rosenberg, Hagee etc. and their role in supporting right wing Zionist extremists. Do you think you could start featuring the role these loons play in fomenting Islamophobia.

    I mean it’s great the liar Spencer is being exposed for the media whore and wanna conquisitador, but others who are not so well known but have large followers in the evangelical right wing and Messianic sects need to be under the spotlight too.

    Just like Danios is the best Spencer buster, we need an xtian Zionist loon buster, the Muslim equilvalent of Max Blumenthal.

    It’s noteworthy that the best Christain Zionsit hate mongering loon busters are all Jewish. It’s about time, Muslims started speaking out against this threat.

  • Justin

    Double standard, much?

  • julian riitoni

    Religion, the last refuge of scoundrels.

  • Les

    This story illustrates Islamophobic hypocrisy. The anti-semite will say that these Jews represent the “real” Judaism. The rest of the Jews are playing pretend and not practicing anything. When the anti-semite is challenged over his generalization of Jews, he’ll say I’m not really against Judaism, I am against rabbinic Judaism or Talmudism. This is completely equivalent to what Islamophobes say about Muslims. The Bin Laden represent the real Islam. All the other Muslims are not really Muslims. I am not against Muslims, I am only against radical “Islamism”. All the usual code words bigots use to hide their hatred. Both say they’re only trying to “educate” and warn mankind over this evil. But Islamophobes, and let’s be honest here, many of whom are Jewish, will never admit to this parallel and in fact will be offended that you dared to compare anti-Muslim hatred with classical European anti-Jewish hatred.

  • saeed

    I looked into the Talmud which I know certain rightwing groups have distorted to some extent but clearly there is an agenda of hate and discrimination within it and sadly for many orthodox Jews it supersedes the Torah in importance. One of my Jewish friends told me in Israel there is a huge chasm between orthodox and mainstream communities, recently a postman was almost beaten to death by orthodox Jews because he was delivering a fashion magazine which had pictures of semi nude women in it into a orthodox neighbourhood, the story can be found on the BBC archives world news. This is similar to in some ways to the teachings of certain Muslim sheikhs who rather than look into the Quran for guidance seek their knowledge from various Hadiths many of which are not very reliable. You will also find Hindu and Christian extremists also have similar texts, recently a hindu mob burnt a priest and his two young sons alive in their car because they believed he was preaching christianity in their neighbourhood, and we all know the extreme actions of the LRA and their mass rapes and murders in the name of christianity, sadly all the major faiths have their loons but only one faiths loons are in the spotlight.

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