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Does Baruch Goldstein's rabbi want violent settlers shot?


Amazing headline in The Jerusalem Post today: “West Bank rabbis: Allow live fire at stone-throwers.” Mind you, the whole country is outraged today at the spectacle of that mob of settler youths attacking that army base in the West Bank, throwing stones, hitting a commander in the head, but now West Bank rabbis, of all people, are calling to shoot them? Sure looks that way:

“Anyone who faces a danger, including being pelted by stones or other dangers, must be allowed to open fire against attackers without having to worry about being tried or having their weapon confiscated,” read a letter from the rabbis to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak.

Who were these West Bank rabbis – moles from the Reform movement? Infiltrators from Rabbis for Human Rights? No, it was Dov Lior, for Chrissakes, who called Baruch Goldstein “holier than all the marytrs of the Holocaust”; and Nahum Rabinovitch, who said if that if soldiers come to evacuate settlements, the right response is to “scatter the area with roadside bombs like the Arabs do”; and Elyakim Levanon, who said rabbis will tell their Orthodox soldiers to walk out of army ceremonies where women are singing “even if they are faced with a firing squad outside and shot to death.”

Wow. These guys really went through some changes, didn’t they, if they now want Israeli soldiers to go ahead and shoot settlers who throw stones at them. Wonder what got into these holy men.

Oh, oh, excuse me; I just read over the Post story, and it seems they don’t want soldiers to shoot stone-throwing settlers, just stone-throwing Palestinians. Okay, the earth is back on its axis. The West Bank rabbis don’t want any harm whatsoever to come to their worshipful little boys; one day, they’re going to be the Israeli army commanders  themselves.

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    1. Hi Larry!
      Well said!

      Reply to Comment
    2. Yo Maxim, thanks.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Susannah

      Very cute, Larry, very cute. Too bad the underlying story isn’t so cute.

      Reply to Comment
    4. sh

      “Dov Lior, for Chrissakes” – Oh, he’s gonna love that.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Kibbutznik

      one day somebody is going to open fire against attackers and then it wont be cute
      you will here them howling ” Nazi ” all the way over in Amerika

      Reply to Comment
    6. Gail Coleman

      It would seem to me that for any “holy man” to promote an escalation of violence is sick -and blasphemy, isn’t it? Be it a Jew, Muslim or Christian, to not promote peace and instead choose to kill and wound others is sinful.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Jonathan

      Where is the news in this report? Since June 1967 mainstream Israel has not regarded Jews and non-Jews as equal before the law in the occupied territories. Why should settler rabbis be any different? The defining characteristic of Israel is not that it has gathered in the exiles or made the desert bloom, it is that it has been an occupying power for more than 40 years.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Elisabeth

      “One day, they’re going to be the Israeli army commanders themselves”

      How serious is this, I am starting to wonder? Before they take over, will the sane Israeli’s make sure the nuclear arsenal is destroyed?

      Reply to Comment
    9. Piotr Berman

      The learned rabbis definitely do not mind that they may be killed in the process. JP story links to the following as “related story” — one could wish that rabbis could benefit from the same software (I am sure links are generated by a program on the basis of common key words, rather that from some sense of irony).

      “The soldiers from the Lavi Battalion of the Kfir Brigade spotted the car on Route 60 between Beit Hagai and Kiryat Arba. They did not have time to deploy a checkpoint, and instead used flashlights to try to flag down the vehicle.

      The car continued to drive fast. One of the soldiers fired eight bullets, hitting the driver and both passengers. The car swerved to the other side of the road and stopped. […]

      The soldier who shot at Mertzbach’s vehicle believed his life was in danger, an initial IDF investigation found.”

      This was a “big story”, and subsequent reports clarified that Rev. Mertzbach was driving suspiciously slowly rather than suspiciously fast. Which makes sense. Killing fast drivers would severely alter Israeli demographics. Spotting a slow driver would raise alarms from Jordan to Mediterranean — and so it did.

      Now imagine that a commander would get a suspicion that a band of Hamasniks dressed like settlers to infiltrate a military post. They could use wigs with payots etc. And then they could kidnap the entire crew.

      Reply to Comment
    10. AYLA

      the end of this piece–however satirical–is chilling.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Ben Israel

      Gail Coleman said:
      It would seem to me that for any “holy man” to promote an escalation of violence is sick -and blasphemy, isn’t it? Be it a Jew, Muslim or Christian, to not promote peace and instead choose to kill and wound others is sinful.

      I don’t know about this. Mohandas Gandhi, to this day is considered a “pacifist” and a “holy man” and a “saint” by so-called “progressives”, yet he encouraged illegal demonstrations knowing that there would be a lot of violence in their wake. It is true that after the violence reached a certain level he would call off the campaign, but in principle he didn’t mind that there would be violence, although he claimed he opposed it. That is why Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Muslim Pakistan, who was originally in Gandhi’s Congress Party broke with him. In the 1942 “Quit India” campaign, he advocated expelling the British from India, knowing that it would lead to horrific mass bloodshed and possibly a Japanese invasion of India. So we see this ‘holy man’ at least didn’t mind violence if it served his politiical goals.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Borg

      Mohandas Gandhi also called upon all Jews to commit suicide during the Holocaust as a form of moral resistance to the Nazis. He felt that Jewish survivors diminished the morality that could have been achieved by mass suicide. Holy indeed

      Reply to Comment
    13. A very amusing interpretation of that headline, Larry.

      But what would be the outcome if those words in the JP were indeed to be taken at face value, became official policy, to apply to all such stone-throwers and the like, be they Israeli or Palestinians protesters?

      I suspect there would be a significant decrease in the stone-throwing fraternity before very long.
      If this unusual stance were adopted and could then be certified as being consistently impartial towards Jews and Arabs, the effect on the prospects for peace would be considerable. It would demonstrate that Israelis were the equal of Palestinians in terms of the punishment meted out and that no special treatment was reserved for either side. In other words, justice would be blind as to the ethnic origin of those engaged in violence, something of a milestone in the search for a peaceful settlement, an approach touching upon the larger picture in no small degree.

      Of course, this is a fantasy, nothing more. Israeli solders never shoot Israeli hotheads and much the same applies to Palestinians militias should their Palestinian equivalent cut loose.

      But if such a system of deterrence could be made available right across the board, violence in all its many guises would be severely curtailed. The possibility then would exist to remedy the whole shooting-match in one fell swoop, a circumstance going some way towards finalising the entire matter.

      Well, we can’t count on the current Israeli administration going down this route. Neither will any of the Palestinian ones do so. That would appear to leave only the rest of us. Could we do it?

      Perhaps we could – but we would then have to essay the role of the ultimate ‘bad boys’ of this saga, coming down on both sides with a very heavy hand should either one of them get too much out of line.


      Still, it might be fun to try.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Ed Frias

      Does Larry Derfner want radical leftists shot?

      In the Hamavaser article Zalmanovitz notes that even though some 130 soldiers and policemen have been injured by protesters in Bil’in by Arabs, anarchists and leftist Israelis over the years, the violent demonstrations there have not raised the ire of security officials or drawn charges of “terrorism” from ministers, the way the Ephraim Brigade incident has.

      Reply to Comment
    15. Does Ed Frias want the IDF to respond to settler stone-throwers like it does to Palestinian stone-throwers? Rubber bullets, tear gas projectiles to the head, 20 dead? The injuries suffered by IDF troops in those demonstrations are negligible compared to what they dish out.

      Reply to Comment