Professor Hillel Weiss
Photo: Eli Mandelbaum

Professor Weiss: I didn't curse in Hebron, it was scripture

After apologizing for words spoken against Hebron brigade commander, Professor Hillel Weiss claims he did not curse him but was merely quoting a verse from Psalms

"My words which were interpreted as curses were merely a quotation from Psalms 109," wrote Professor Hillel Weiss of the Bar Ilan University to Professor Yacov Ne'eman, who heads the university committee appointed to determine whether Weiss' actions merit a disciplinary hearing, even before the police investigation into the matter is concluded.


A week after being caught on camera cursing IDF Hebron brigade commander Colonel Yehuda Fox during the forcible eviction of settlers from the city's marketplace last week, Weiss claims his true meaning was misunderstood and "twisted by the media."


Weiss failed to specify which verse he was quoting, but he was apparently paraphrasing Psalms 109: 8-9, in which King David says: "Let his days be few; and let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow."


However in the footage of the Hebron incident, Weiss appears to have taken liberties with the source material, Weiss is shown saying: "May your mother be bereaved, your wife be widowed, your children be orphaned and may you be struck down in the next war and any memory of you be erased."


In his letter Weiss claims that his words were taken out of context and interpreted as curses. "Anyone who listened to my full statement could see that my words were not literal, but that they were based on the original version the author intended to write thousands of years ago. Certainly my words were not aimed at any particular soldier."


Weiss said that according to the chapter in Psalms, the curses are directed at those who would inflict harm on orphans and widows.


"To be on the safe side, and only after the media negligently misconstrued my statements and prevented me from clarifying my intentions, despite great efforts on my part, I decided to write a letter of apology to those in uniform."


"As an academic I fear that free speech in Israel has been plundered, I worry that the harassment of Jews by the security forces has become a political sporting tool, my heart aches that I must struggle for this most basic of rights for Jews in Israel."


"'I will not stay silent because my country changed her face,' I will not be afraid to be a Jew in my country, I will not hold back my opinions even if an army of journalists are recruited to subdue me. If Jews are once again mistreated because they are free in their own land, I will be there, I will not spare them my criticism. The IDF and security forces are emissaries of the people and the country and we must all treat them with the proper respect, and that includes the political echelon."  


פרסום ראשון: 08.15.07, 05:29
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