Rabbis Yaakov Yosef and Dov Lior were summoned for questioning in the case of Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira's book, "Torat Hamelech," but Lior failed to appear to the meeting scheduled Monday while Yosef announced he did not intend to come to the meeting scheduled for Tuesday. The two have expressed their support for the book and are suspected of incitement.
On Monday they explained their support. "The Torah is not open to investigation," they wrote. "The attempts to stop Israel's rabbis from expressing their opinions, their Torah opinions, using fear and threats, is a grave act and will not succeed.
"A regime that acts thus joins the evil regimes which have forbidden the study of the Torah and raised their hands against it. We therefore declare that we intend not to come to be questioned, especially after Rabbi Yitzhak Ginzberg so clearly expressed our position to the investigators."
The two rabbis say that the book, "Torat Hamelech," sets out how to behave in times of war and explains wartime morals according to the holy Torah. The book claims that it is permissible to kill someone who wants to kill you, and that it is permissible to harm someone who shields an enemy in order to preserve the lives of our citizens and soldiers.
They assert that the Torah's moral codes must guide the entire IDF and any judicial system which aims to operate according to the truth. "Our right to our land after 2000 years of exile is the right to our holy Torah," they wrote.
Sources close to Rabbi Yosef said to Ynet, "The persecution against rabbis because of opinions they have expressed for the sake of IDF soldiers will not prevent them from continuing to say the truth."
Yossi Darmer, head of Rabbi Lior's bureau, confirmed that "the rabbi would not cooperate with the political persecution."
"Boundaries have been overstepped, (this is) communist-style persecution," said MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union). "Nobody would dare to investigate sheikhs or leftwing professors who take advantage of freedom of speech for their own ends."
State Prosecutor's Office acts
After Shapira was detained, Deputy State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan revealed that a secret investigation was underway against other rabbis connected to the publication of the book, who are suspected of incitement. Nitzan announced that investigations would be made into the organization 12 Heshvan and 11 other groups united under the "Brit Hoshech Legaresh."
"A long time ago I requested that the police open investigations into the book's authors, Shapira and Rabbi Yosef Yirmiyahu Elitzur, and against those who agree with it, Ginzberg, Lior and Yosef," Nitzan wrote.
He also revealed that he had ordered an investigation into Elitzur on the same suspicions, following his article, "Killing innocent people," which was published in the Od Yosef Hai yeshiva newsletter and website.
Rabbi Nehamia Goldberg, also among the book's first supporters, will not be investigated because he has withdrawn his support and even criticized the book's content.
Shapira, from the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, wrote in his book, "When we encounter a gentile who has violated the Seven Laws of Noah and kill him out of concern for upholding the seven mitzvoth, no prohibition has been violated."
According to the rabbi, "Anywhere where the presence of a gentile poses a threat to Israel, it is permissible to kill him, even if it is a righteous gentile who is not responsible for the threatening situation."
Following the police investigation, a few days ago Shapira called on rabbis to join him in expressing the Torah opinion on wartime morals. He said even though the establishment will take vengeance on those who express Torah opinion on this issue, "we must not be frightened off."
- Follow Ynetnews on Facebook