Cold-blooded rabbis are not men of the cloth

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A news item that would never make it to the front pages of the US press caught my attention the other day. It seems that some Israeli rabbis have decreed the Israeli army not to shy away from targeted killing of Palestinian civilians in the context of the ongoing military campaign against armed groups resisting the illegal occupation of their lands.

Writing to the Israeli defense minister, the rabbis stated that killing enemy civilians is “normal” during this time and that the Israeli occupation army should never hesitate to kill non-Jewish civilians.

The signatory parties to this heinous edict, include Haim Meir Druckman, a former Knesset member and leader of a large religious youth movement known as the Bnei Akiva Society; Eliezer Melamed, who heads a West Bank religious college; and Youval Sharlo, the head of another Talmudic college in Petah Tikva which combines Talmudic studies with active military service.

Another prominent rabbi, Dov Lior, in the illegally occupied Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arbaa in the territories near Hebron issued a statute some times back stating that non-Jewish civilians may be killed to save Jewish lives, soldiers and civilians alike. The rabbi argued that non-Jewish lives had no sanctity, especially during the time of war.

Now here’s a rabbi who feverishly advanced the cause of the killing of Palestinian civilians in Rafah in southern Gaza earlier, saying: “It is very clear in light of the Torah that Jewish lives are more important than non-Jewish lives”. He also added that non-Jews were made by God to serve all Jews.

What would possess these men of the cloth to justify the killing of the innocent? In articulating their murderous theological positions, Lior and other like-minded rabbis rely on an old Talmudic maxim that states that it is an imperative religious duty to kill enemy civilians in wartime.

They quote a Talmudic ruling, stating, “Our lives come first”.

“The Christian preaching of ‘turning the other cheek’ doesn’t concern us, and we will not be impressed by those who prefer the lives of our enemies to our lives,” they say.

Rabbi Lior who has gone public with his praise and eulogy for Baruch Goldstein, a New Yorker Jew settler who in 1994 mowed down 29 Arab worshippers while they were offering their prayers at Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque. Referring to the terrorist Goldstein as a “great saint”, the rabbi stated that a “thousand non-Jewish lives are not worth a Jew’s fingernail”.

And while some rabbis within Conservative and Reform Judaism do not share the Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox view of non-Jews, they have very little political influence in Israel and are generally viewed with disdain by the powerful Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox branches, which view them as inferior Jews. Neither does the current state of Israel run by Netanyahu and company give them an ear.

These religious terrorists shield themselves behind the cloak of faith to vent and promote their murderous intent. And judging from the slaughter of the innocent that is currently in progress in Gaza and elsewhere, they appear to have succeeded. Just imagine. A public proclamation for the execution of the innocent! A message of terrorism so blatant and such an affront to humanity. And yet nary a condemnation in the US media. Ever wonder why? What has suppressed such blatant words of terrorism that it does not draw a single objection?

A sea of pathetic cries of “anti-Semitism” would smother any bold and honest editor who dared attempt print such truth into submission, and into a different profession.

— The writer can be reached at talmaeena@aol.com; follow him on Twitter / @talmaeena


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