West Bank Rabbi Yosef Elitzur indicted for incitement

JTA

JERUSALEM (JTA) — West Bank Rabbi Yosef Elitzur, an author of the controversial book “The King’s Torah,” was indicted for incitement to violence.

The rabbi, of the Yitzhar settlement in the northern West Bank, was indicted Tuesday or two opinion articles he wrote in which he justifies civilians “taking action against the enemy,” the news website Ynet reported.

An investigation into Elitzur, and Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, over the contents of “The King’s Torah,” a treatise on halacha, or Jewish law, which discusses situations in which it is permissible for Jews to kill non-Jews, was closed in 2012 due to lack of evidence.

The indictment filed by Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit comes after the Reform movement and the NGO Tag Meir filed a petition two years ago against the rabbi in light of the articles.

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Anat Hoffman, executive director of Reform movement’s Israel Religious Action Center said in a statement: “It is high time Israel cease to tolerate the intolerable. A rabbi like him contaminates our Jewish tradition and pollutes our democracy. Freedom of speech ends when hate and violence are  preached and practiced.”

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