Nearly a year after police launched an investigation
into the publication of the King's Torah,
a book that stated that it was permissible to kill non-Jews when their presence in Israel endangers Jews, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein decided to close the criminal case against the authors and its supporters "due to lack of sufficient evidence as required in criminal law."
The attorney general ruled that it was impossible to determine that the publication of the book was done with the intent of inciting to racism as the law demands.
Weinstein stressed that when the matter involves the publication of a halachic ruling or halachic books, and out of consideration for the principle of religious freedom, criminal proceedings must be avoided when possible.
Yet the attorney general also stated that it was "obvious that the decision to close (the case) was not in any way an expression of acceptance for the serious statements presented in the book. The opposite is true, the statements are, according to the attorney general, deserving of condemnation and denunciation."
The book stirred controversy for stating that it is permissible to kill a non-Jew if his presence endangers Jewish life. Some rabbis within the religious community supported the statements while others hinted that the statements were dangerous.
Police launched an investigation into the matter and authors Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira and Rabbi Yosef Elitzur were investigated over suspected incitement to violence and racism.
Other rabbis investigated in connection with the affair included Rabbi Dov Lior, Yitzhak Ginsberg and Rabbi Yaakov Yosef who expressed their support for the book.
Over the last two months the State Prosecutor's Office examined whether there was room to indict the book's authors, something which could create a major furor within the Zionist-religious community.
The prosecutor's office was of the opinion that indictment would be problematic as it is hard to prove that the authors intended to act with violence, and in a case like this, intent must be proven.
The decision is within Weinstein's purview and so the case will now be closed.