Well, the title has already given away the answer. And people are actually demonstrating to protest detention of two Rabbis who endorsed the book, “King’s Torah”
Imagine now if a few nutty Muslims wrote a book that said that Palestinians could kill Jewish babies (explicitly), what would the reaction be in the US media? Rabid islamophobia? FOX’s wall-to-wall coverage. Perhaps condemnation by the White House, definitely a Congressional resolution? Maybe all of that. But it is amazing that we have to go to BBC to hear of this demonstration story.
As you can read in the story, there are plenty of disclaimers to remove the “Jewishness” of the bigots who are supporting the book. And I fully endorse these disclaimers, because indeed many of the strongest voices against bigotry in the occupied territories have been Jewish. The story also goes to great lengths in making the protesters seem less of bigots than they really are. It is a telling account of the right-wing Jewish mentality in the settlements when
Both men have strong support among ideological Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, but the wider religious community also took up their cause.
The problem is that the same treatment is not afforded to Muslims. Muslim nuts end up representing the entire Muslim ummah, while Jewish nuts or other religious nuts only represent themselves (as they should).
King’s Torah splits Israel’s religious and secular Jews
By Yolande Knell
BBC News, Jerusalem
Recent protests in Israel highlight the differences between the country’s religious and secular Jewish communities. Hundreds of right-wing Jews have taken part in demonstrations outside Israel’s Supreme Court over the brief detention of two prominent rabbis in the last few weeks. There were clashes with police on horseback on the nearby Jerusalem streets and several arrests were made.
Rabbis Dov Lior and Yacob Yousef had endorsed a highly controversial book, the King’s Torah – written by two lesser-known settler rabbis. It justifies killing non-Jews, including those not involved in violence, under certain circumstances.
The fifth chapter, entitled “Murder of non-Jews in a time of war” has been widely quoted in the Israeli media. The summary states that “you can kill those who are not supporting or encouraging murder in order to save the lives of Jews”. At one point it suggests that babies can justifiably be killed if it is clear they will grow up to pose a threat. Israeli police investigating allegations of incitement had asked the rabbis to be voluntarily questioned, but took them into custody when they refused. Both men have strong support among ideological Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, but the wider religious community also took up their cause.
The heated reaction to their arrests has highlighted tensions between religious and civil authority in Israel and sparked a debate over freedom of expression.
Some students who joined a rally on 4 July are now back in the quiet of the library of the Raanana Yeshiva, a seminary of higher Jewish studies, north of Tel Aviv. Eliyahu Gross, 21, travelled with friends to Jerusalem but tells me he had not read the King’s Torah. “I was just demonstrating against the idea of the restriction of the Torah,” he says, stressing the need for uninhibited discussions of Judaism’s founding legal and ethical religious texts. “In my point of view, anything that’s against the freedom of the Torah is basically against my freedom as a Jew.” Rabbi Yehuda Amar (R) and yeshiva student, Eliyahu Gross (L) joined a rally in Jerusalem. Rabbi Yehuda Amar, who helped organise the gathering, strongly rejects the way the text has been presented. “Jewish law is very, very careful about anything that poses a threat to life,” he says. He maintains that the book invites only theoretical analysis of scripture. “We need freedom to study the Torah on both a spiritual level and on a democratic level,” Rabbi Amar adds. “We try to show there is a contrast: Spiritual ideas are pulled away from practical life.” As the discussion goes on, the religious community’s sense of marginalisation comes to the fore. The head of the yeshiva, Rabbi Haim Rehig, sees the King’s Torah as “a problematic book” and has written against it.