Rabbi pro-killing of non-Jews defies Israel police

AFP, Tuesday 8 Feb 2011

Supporters of a settler rabbi rallied outside his West Bank home to stop police arresting him

Supporters of a settler rabbi who endorsed a book justifying the killing of non-Jews in some cases rallied outside his West Bank home on Tuesday to stop police arresting him, Israeli media said.

Haaretz newspaper's website said 2,000 people gathered outside Dov Lior's home in Kiryat Arba settlement, near the Palestinian city of Hebron, after police on Monday issued a warrant for his arrest because he had refused a request to go to a police station for questioning.

Police told AFP that a demonstration took place but could not immediately confirm that a warrant had been issued against Lior, the settlement's chief rabbi.

Lior's office chief told Israeli army radio that he had refused past police requests to question him at their facilities and would do so in future, although he could accept police coming to him.

"Because of the political persecution that has been going on for the past year, he will not cooperate and will not go to be interviewed," Yossi Dermer told the radio.

A settler rabbi who co-authored the book was arrested last August on suspicion of incitement to violence but freed without charge days later after a court said police had not followed proper procedure.

The book, "The King's Torah," written by Yosef Elitzur and another rabbi, reportedly says that babies and children of Israel's enemies may be killed since "it is clear that they will grow to harm us."

It also said non-Jews were "uncompassionate by nature" and that attacks on them "curb their evil inclination."

"Anywhere where the influence of gentiles constitutes a threat to the life of Israel, it is permissible to kill them," the rabbis wrote.

The book, published earlier this year, has drawn sharp criticism from numerous rabbis who say it contradicts the teachings of Judaism.

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