Rabbis of Incitement

When the prophet Amos confronted the Priest Amatziah who condemned him for his prophecy of doom, Amos replied “lo navi anochi v’lo ben navi”… I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet”.

Amos was a simple Jew who saw the destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel due to its idolatry and heathen practices which included the deaths of innocent people in the kingdom.

I rejoiced today, having read three of our Hebrew language daily newspapers as well as today’s edition of The Times of Israel. In each of them, it appears to me that our Prime Minister and our Defense Minister have read my article published yesterday and my earlier articles in defense of the Shin Bet Security Services.

The Prime Minister has condemned the extremist rabbis of the settlements for incitement of hatred against Arabs. The Defense Minister has taken immediate steps to use the law to silence them.

The headline of today’s edition, “Israel to clamp down on rabbis ‘inciting’ Jewish terrorism”, is what I have been demanding for long before the massacre in Duma.

Even during the rampant murders committed by Baruch Goldstein at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron on February 25, 1994.. I condemned the rabbis of the settlements for igniting the spark which caused the deaths of 29 Arab worshippers and wounded an additional 125.

Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin was outraged at the murders of innocent worshippers in a holy place. He called Baruch Goldstein “a degenerate murderer… a shame on Zionism and an embarrassment to Judaism”, while the settlers and hate-filled rabbis in Hebron hailed Goldstein as a hero and praised his murderous attack and ultimate death as an act of martyrdom.

Twenty-one years have passed since that tragic day and the extremist rabbis continue to spew their poisonous message of hate and “death to the Arabs”, inciting the lunatic fringe of settler “Hilltop Youth”, many of them who hold American citizenship, to continue in the paths of Meir Kahane and Baruch Goldstein, disgraces to the Israeli public and to decent Jews in all corners of the globe.

Joshua Davidovich wrote on “Sunday the rabbi was brought in for questioning” about Dov Lior, one of the prominent settlement rabbis. The other three, named in the Hebrew-language press as American-born Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, Rabbi Daniel Stavsky and Rabbi Yizhak Shapira, are to be questioned for their role in the hateful incitement which led to the massacre in Duma, claiming the life of a 9-month-old baby boy and his mother and father.

The four disgraceful rabbis of death praised the massacre and hailed the Jewish terrorists who committed the dastardly act, inspired by the incitement of rabbinical hate.

There is no Torah here. No rachmanut (mercy). No tzedek (righteousness). There is only the poisonous sinah (hatred) which caused the destruction of our Holy Temple.

If these poor excuses of rabbis are permitted to continue preaching and teaching their messages of hate and encouraging lunatic fringe youth to act, they will be responsible for the end of our Jewish State. We cannot allow that ever to happen.

The government must continue apprehending them and requiring them to refrain from incitement under the threat of imprisonment and removal from the rabbinical posts which they hold and whose salaries are paid by the government.

Our Security Services should be posted in all of their synagogues to witness any crime of hateful speech and defamation of another religion which can only lead to more tragically sickening acts of Jewish violence and terrorism. If any hint of encouragement to terror is determined, those rabbis should be immediately arrested and held for trial and judgement.

With all due speed, the murderers of Duma must be tried and found guilty. Long prison sentences may help to curb further Jewish terrorist activity. Parents need to inculcate the best of our Jewish values in these pathetic youngsters. “Lo tirtzach”… thou shalt not murder… is an integral part of our Ten Commandments. Even zealous settlers must obey the law.

One need not love nor even like his neighbors but there is never an excuse to murder those who are not intent to harm us.

I hope that Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ya’alon will continue to read my messages.

And hopefully, I too can emulate the prophet Amos who sought to prevent the destruction of Israel.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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