Readers of this blog will recall the post I wrote about the good Rabbi Yitzchak Shapira, who wrote a 200-page book arguing, among other things, that it was permissible to kill goyim, including children and even babies, who endangered Jews. Rav Shapira doesn’t explain how a goy baby could endanger a Jew, but if it was a Palestinian baby I’m sure he could think up one. In fact, here is some of the Jewish ethicist’s ramblings on that precise subject:
…It is permissible to kill gentile [read “Palestinian”] babies “because their presence assists murder, and there is reason to harm children if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us … it is permissible to harm the children of a leader in order to stop him from acting evilly … we have seen in the Halakha that even babies of gentiles who do not violate the seven Noahide laws, there is cause to kill them because of the future threat that will be caused if they are raised to be wicked people like their parents.”
This goes way beyond pre-emption. Shapira is advocating killing Palestinian babies who don’t even pose a threat to a Jew and who he can’t possibly know in the future will do so. This is pre-emptive religious war on steroids.
Now, word comes from Haaretz’s Akiva Eldar that the estimable Jewish ethicist, through his yeshiva, actually receives state funding for his efforts at promoting goyicide:
Lior Yavne, who oversees research at the Yesh Din human rights organization, checked and found that in 2006-2007, the Ministry of Education department of Torah institutions transferred over a million shekels [$250,000] to [Shapira’s] Od Yosef Hai yeshiva in Yitzhar.
The Ministry of Social Affairs has allocated over 150,000 shekels to the yeshiva since 2007…And what can they [students] learn with the help of public funding from the head of the yeshiva, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira? According to selected items published last week in the media, the boys can learn that Teitel is not only innocent, but also a real saint.
Their spiritual leader stated in his book, Torat Hamelekh that “a national decision is not necessary in order to permit the shedding of blood of an evil kingdom. Even individuals from the afflicted kingdom can attack them.”
“The commandments in the book do not suffice only with gentiles; you can also find in them approval to attack leftist professors: every citizen in the kingdom opposing us who encourages the [Palestinian] fighters or expresses satisfaction with their actions is considered a pursuer and his killing is permissible,” wrote the rabbi.
This, of course, is a justification for the vigilantism of settler militias which routinely terrorize and even murder Palestinian civilians, as it is a justification for killing fellow Jews. There is Israeli law against precisely this sort of incitement. That it is not enforced against the rabbi-ethicist indicates how hollow Israeli authority is when it comes to tamping down right-wing hatred and violence. Shapira is not only vindicating Jack Teitel’s bombing attack against Prof. Zev Sternhell, he is telling wannabe Judean terrorist to “kill more of ’em.”
We shouldn’t be at all surprised that one of the good rabbis talmidim took upon himself to build his own crude Qasam rocket which he fired at a neighboring Palestinian village. His teacher, Rabbi Shapira, provides a fine moral example for him.
I have not yet done so, but how much would you like to bet that American Jewish settler funders also support Od Yosef Hai Yeshiva in Yitzhar? If so, that means your tax dollars and mine are subsidizing this racist genocidal filth. Not to mention the Israeli state itself which implicitly endorses his murderous hatred by providing a $300,000 state subsidy for his yeshiva. The yeshiva is, by the way, a legally registered UK charity.
I was raised to be a good Jewish boy. I respected rabbis as spiritual and sometimes even holy men. But I have to admit I find it repulsive that there are some Jews who call this man “Rabbi” and defile the title and rabbinic tradition by doing so.
A word about the accompanying Biderman cartoon: Haaretz reported during Operation Cast Lead the religious indoctrination offered by the IDF’s rabbinical corps which justified killing Palestinians. It wasn’t a pretty picture by any means. Earlier today, the IDF acknowledged that a group of soldiers refused to carry out orders to dismantle an illegal outpost. Turns out that an inordinate percentage of IDF officers are now ideologically committed settlers who have imbided the Kool Aid offered to them during the Gaza war. They’re perfectly willing to kill Gazans. But a funny thing happened on the way. They’re no longer willing to follow orders when they affect Jewish settlers.
The image connotes that the IDF rabbis created a golem during Cast Lead, one who was indoctrinated into believing there is no value higher than a Jewish life and that a Palestinian life is markedly inferior. This soldier will eagerly do the right-wing settler rabbis’ bidding.
Arie Brand says
Yitzhak Ginsburg, who was co-editor of an anthology glorifying the ‘saintly’ Baruch Goldstein, seems to have been an earlier head of this school. Incidentally, I read somewhere that he was imprisoned for his editorial efforts.
If so the same Israeli law that got him caught should apply to this present luminary who has raised Teitel on a pedestal. But sadly the will to enforce it seems to be lacking.
The tax dollars supporting these institutions ultimately come from American pockets. But, more importantly, the spiritual climate in which these characters are thriving seems to owe much to America’s Jewish ‘madrasahs’ as Michael Lopez-Calderon (who taught at one) called them. Goldstein, Ginsburg and others were taught to hate there.
The fact that we Americans support this stuff with our tax dollars makes me sick to my stomach. Is it ironic that goyisch America (at least 97% of the population) supports groups that harbor such a deep blistering hatred of Gentiles? If right-wing Israelis and their right-wing Jewish American enablers possess so much hostility toward non-Jews, why do they insist on being totally dependent on the rest of us?
Israel is an American welfare case, we give them 3 billion gentile-tainted dollars a year, carte blanche on our military hardware, Israel gets Germany to build them nuclear submarines and a big nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (at the Germans’ expense, labor and expertise, of course). Where does the aiding and abetting of Israeli militarism end?
There needs to be a more open discourse in America about these very disturbing issues. This rabbi’s racism is fundamentally genocidal in its assumptions and implications (and all non-Jews are really implicated here, not just Palestinians and other Arab nations, though obviously they’re the brunt of Israeli aggression). This is absolutely disgusting. It’s hard for me to see how Rabbi Shapira’s thinking is different, in the fundamentals, from previous hardcore racial nationalisms and supremacist thinking, and we’ve seen where those have led.
A correction regarding Israeli naval construction is in order. Germany does not build nuclear submarines for Israel. The German-built Dolphin class are conventionally powered. They are, however, likely capable of deploying nuclear weapons (cruise missiles.)
Also, Germany has no capability of building aircraft carriers, nuclear or otherwise. You might have been misled by the inept reporting of a certain German correspondent who mistook a small conventional warship carrying helicopters for a bona fide aircraft carrier.
But in principle you are correct. Western countries (with US and Germany as the main culprits) simply don’t put their money where their big mouths are. They condemn Israeli aggression while enabling it. And they alienate the Muslim world while professing to reach out to it. One dollar spent on arming Israel is probably equal to 10 dollars directly funneled into Al Qaeda recruiting.
This hypocrisy is going to cost us dearly, especially when coupled with the blindness of people to the causes of something like 9/11.
Koshiro, thanks for the correction, duly noted. That’s what I get for not verifying my facts before posting and shooting from the hip from half-baked memory and some quick, glancing reading somewhere in the bowels of the web a while back. When I think about it, your correction makes a good deal more sense, as well as being accurate.
Also, to clarify any ambiguity in the parentheses in my above comment, I mean that at least 97% of Americans are not Jewish, and thus the irony that our country supports groups that so deeply hate Gentiles, NOT that 97% of Americans support our country’s one-sided, biased Israel policies. The percentage of Americans who support a one-sided, heavily biased American approach toward Israel (like we currently have) is relatively small. And this is notable considering how deeply skewed our media coverage is toward Israel, and how the Holocaust is ideologically framed to directly feed into Americans’ perceptions of and understanding of Israel.
For Rabbi Yitshak Shapira : Every Palestinian child or infant is consonat threat and deadly enemy for you and for your racist zionist apartheid terrorist regeim , i am assuring you that and all your fanatic settlers over our home land Palestine . Just go home to your countries , let us live in our homeland in peace .
Richard Silverstein says
Such replies make me extremely uncomfortable because they presume to replace one injustice with another. Not to mention that they betray a simplistic, wholly pejorative understanding of the term “Zionist.” There is much wrong with some brands of Zionism. But Zionism is a large movement whose followers believe many diff. & sometimes mutually contradictory things. Presuming Zionism is one thing is like presuming that Islam or Christianity or being American are one thing.
I just have a funny idea. Slightly rephrase this with non-Judaism-specific vocabulary – like “unbeliever” for “gentile” or “universal laws” instead of “Noahide laws” and post it into a right-winger discussion forum explaining that this was uttered by a prominent cleric.
Count the “those damn Muslims”-type replies you’ll get. Then have fun by revealing – an a manner as innocent and faux-surprised as possible – the truth.
Richard Silverstein says
That would be a cool idea…
I did something similar on U.S. Inauguration Day 2004. I distributed parts of a 1933 Hitler speech, translated into English. 95% of people commented on “what good [Christian] morals” the mystery politician had, and hoped said person was elected. A few [supporters] even thought the speech was a Bush speech. Only a select few saw through the gag/ruse.
With regards to the cartoon, I think there may be an inconsistency. In general, it is the settler rabbis who have knitted kippas. Haredim, or black hat rabbis as less involved with the issue of religious zionism. Therefore, the rabbis in the cartoon should have knitted kippas and more modern garb.
I didn’t read for a long time such anti jewish incitements. Oh, well. Gentiles don’t need to advocate peace with Israel because they will be on your side, guys.