With an Ah-Ha-Ha
And an Oh-Ho-Ho
And a couple of La-Dee-Das
That’s how we laugh the day away
In the merry old land of Judea.
If I didn’t know better I might say that this high-hatted image of one of Israel’s leading racist settler rabbis was that of one of the Munchkins from the Land of Oz. But alas, if that were the case and he’d plied his trade in Hollywood instead of the settlements, there might be more Israelis and Palestinians alive today. Here is what Nahum Barnea had to say about Rabbi Dov Lior’s arrest for supporting the publication of a book, Torat Ha-Melech (‘Teachings of a the King’), that incited the murder of Palestinian children with the assumption that they would grow up to murder Jews:
Rabbi Dov Lior should have been interrogated in connection with affairs that are much graver than the praise he lavished on a book of incitement based on Jewish Law verses: Acts carried out by the Jewish terror underground; the Rabin murder; the Goldstein massacre – all these crimes, and others, came from a milieu where Rabbi Lior was, and still is, the spiritual authority.
After the abovementioned crimes were committed, the Shin Bet was eager to know whether rabbi Lior endorsed these acts, knew about them in advance, and who else knew, if at all. Yet on the political orders of prime ministers, Lior was left alone, as were other radical rabbis…
Keep in mind that the State pays this man’s salary, making him a State employee whose salary is paid by the citizens of that State, roughly 80% of whom are NOT setters and do not support his vicious racism. This is part of the problem with the contemporary Israeli state. It is simply powerless to respond to the provocations of figures like Lior. There is neither the will nor the power to hold him accountable for anything he does or says. Religion, or at least the noxious version of it peddled by the likes of this moral Munchkin, holds the State hostage. And that’s the tragedy of Israel today.