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Dov Lior: Rabbi Who Supported the Murder of Babies Arrest Causes Firestorm in Israel

Wild Celebrations as Rabbi Dov Lior is Released from Prison

Where do we even begin with this one? We did a story on the Rabbi’s who penned and supported the work, “The King’s Teachings,” in which all manner of immoral actions are allowed in the name of security. At the time and since, nearly the entire religious establishment of Israel has supported the Rabbis, even if some have not given their explicit endorsement.

Do we have to ask, what if they were Muslim?

(Hat tip: Tony)

There is more at Haaretz as well about the reaction from parliamentarians who are outraged at the arrest of Lior.

Rabbi’s Arrest Provokes New Friction Between Religion And Government In Israel

(Huffington Post)

JERUSALEM — The arrest of a prominent Israeli settler rabbi who endorsed a book sanctioning the killing of non-Jews under some conditions is sharpening the battle lines between some Jewish religious sages and the Israeli government.

After Rabbi Dov Lior, spiritual leader of the radical Kiryat Arba settlement in the West Bank, was detained and brought in for police questioning, hundreds of his followers, most of them teenagers, went on a rampage. Other rabbis fulminated against the idea that a rabbi could be arrested at all.

On the other side, secular Israelis complained that some rabbis in Israel think they are above the law.

Lior, a longtime symbol of religious and nationalist extremism, was brought in for questioning Monday after his car was stopped on a West Bank road. Lior, who was freed after a brief interrogation, accused officers of “Bolshevik” tactics.

Joining critics of his own government’s action, the Minister of Religious Affairs, Yaakov Margi, raged that the rabbi, who is in his late 70s, was “abducted on his way to Jerusalem like the lowest criminal.”

Lior was brought in Monday after ignoring a series of official police orders to report for interrogation.

His arrest angered supporters as a mark of disrespect for a venerated scholar.

Hundreds of disciples tried to block the road to the entrance to the city, snarling traffic at afternoon rush hour. Others tried to attack the Supreme Court. Hundreds besieged the home of a government official they thought was responsible for the arrest warrant.

The warrant had been pending for months in connection with a preface Lior wrote in support of a book, “The King’s Teachings.” The book quotes some religious sages as permitting, under certain conditions, the killing of non-Jews, including babies, “if there is a good chance they will grow up to be like their evil parents.”

Police wanted to question Lior over the possibility that his endorsement of the book was incitement to murder.

Backers accused authorities of assaulting Lior’s freedom of speech and complained that inflammatory statements by leftists against nationalist Israelis did not draw similar sanctions.

Critics of Lior and his camp saw a sign that some rabbis and their followers believe that secular law does not apply to them.

“Those who favor freedom of expression will of course find it difficult to accept as self evident the arrest of a person, any persona, for things that he said or wrote,” read an editorial in Wednesday’s Haaretz newspaper.

“But from the moment that the police decided to summon Rabbi Dov Lior to an investigation, he should have reported, even if he is firmly opposed to doing so, and taken advantage of every legitimate way of protesting against the claims against him,” Haaretz wrote, calling for Lior’s dismissal from his official, state-paid positions.

The Jerusalem Post wrote it was not clear that Lior committed a crime.

“He has, however, placed his rabbinic reputation behind a morally repugnant book” with “far-reaching and horrid implications, particularly in wartime settings,” the newspaper said.

Lior told reporters afterward that he ignored the police orders to report for questioning because he considered them illegitimate.

Although respected in the religious nationalist community, Lior’s teachings and commentaries have made him a polarizing figure in Israel for decades.

Following a shooting attack on a Jerusalem seminary in 2008, he ruled that Jewish law forbids employing and renting homes to Palestinians. He also praised Baruch Goldstein, the American immigrant doctor who massacred 29 Palestinians at a religious shrine in the West Bank city of Hebron in 1994.

Some rabbis have repudiated “The King’s Teachings,” which doesn’t explicitly mention Arabs or Palestinians.

On Wednesday, the Israel Hayom newspaper reported that a sequel to “The King’s Teachings” was in the works. Its author, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, said he has sold more than 2,000 additional copies of “The King’s Teachings” since Lior’s arrest.

Shapira was arrested briefly for questioning about the book last year. No one has been charged.

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  • Ustadh

    Where did Yusuf Al-Qaradawi ever say that it was permissible or even favorable to kill Children if they are going to grow up to be evil? If you can’t produce the evidence, then you are a crooked piece of ish, that’s just trying to sow discord and lies.

  • Nur Alia

    Lets put it like this…

    If the Palistinians were not the Israeli’s ‘common enemy’ Israel would havw destroyed itself long ago.

    There is no such thing as a religious democracy.

  • Lo

    Every time I think about his You-can-kill-non-Jewish-babies-if-you-suspect-they-will-be-a-danger-to-you-later statement, I think: Moses. Surely the same thought has crossed this Rabbi’s mind at some point.

  • Link182

    Religious extremism in Israel needs more coverage.

  • Ismail

    This is a fantastic example of “what if they were Muslims”

    Could you imagine hundreds of Muslim teens going on a rampage in some country because a controversial imam was arrested?

  • Ustadh

    I know this Rabbi doesn’t really have a large following among Jews, that’s because most Jews aren’t religious. I also believe religious Jews would have problems with his interpretation of the Torah because they see the Torah as a book of justice and compassion and they don’t want to see it be used for violence.

    I do want to point out that such nuance is never directed at Muslims. Every wrong action that Muslims commit is blamed on Islam, even if it is completely unrelated.

  • mindy1

    How sad that he has so many young followers. There can’t be peace if people teach others that killing over religion is a good thing 🙁

    btw, the muslim weightlifter might be able to compete- I heard the rules were modified in her favor

  • THoss

    Something similar to this HAS happened to a Muslim – Yusuf Al Qaradawi is accused of saying similar things.

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