Kiryat Arba Chief Rabbi arrested over condones murder of non-Jews

Photo by: Ben Hartman

Kiryat Arba chief Rabbi arrested over book endorsement


Dov Lior was pulled over by police after repeatedly avoiding summons for questioning; book condones murder of non-Jews.

Kiryat Arba’s Chief Rabbi Dov Lior was detained by police Monday afternoon over his endorsement of the Torat Hamelekh(King’s Torah) book. The arrest was made by the National Serious and International Crimes Unit.Lior, head of the Yesha (Judea and Samaria) Rabbis and one of the most senior national religious rabbis, was pulled over while driving on the Tunnel Road connecting Gush Etzion and Jerusalem.

In the past, the unit has accused Lior of failing to answer calls to appear for questioning at the unit’s Lod headquarters. Last year, one of the two co-authors of the book, Rabbi Yosef Elizur-Hershkowitz, from Yitzhar was arrested on suspicion of incitement to racial violence, possession of racist text, and and possession of material that incites to violence. Elizur-Hershkowitz cooperated with police and was released soon after his arrest

Torat Hamelech, authored by Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira and Rabbi Yosef Elitzur of the Od Yosef Hai Yeshiva in Yitzhar, advocates killing innocent non-Jews in certain situations during wartime.

In February, nearly 70 prominent national religious rabbis signed a letter of protest over the police’s announced intention to arrest Lior if he continued to ignore their requests to present himself for questioning.

Heads of the some of the leading educational institutions within the sector – including Rabbi Haim Druckman of Or Etzion, Rabbi David Stav of Tzohar and the Petah Tikva hesder yeshiva, Rabbi Elyakim Levanon and Rabbi Eliezer Melamed – defended Lior’s ongoing refusal to be investigated for the rabbinic endorsement (haskama) he gave the book.

Lior and Rabbi Ya’acov Yosef, son of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, have been publicly refusing the police summons since last year. Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsberg of Kfar Chabad, who also endorsed Torat Hamelech, appeared for police questioning as requested last year and used the opportunity to explain to police the halachic reasoning behind his support for the book.

Some Knesset members reacted with anger to the arrest. Ya’akov “Ketzaleh” Katz said “We represent a large population in Israel that’s upset about the arrest of Dov Lior,” while Michael Ben-Ari announced, “Rabbi Lior is a Holocaust survivor who has taught thousands of soldiers. Arresting him and kidnapping him humiliates an entire population.”

Source Jerusalem Post

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