A. Hoffman II, Editor
Israeli Rabbis: Don't Spare
The Hoffman Wire | Sept. 8, 2004
Talmudic halacha (law), several prominent Israeli rabbis,
Akiva's Rabbi Haim Druckman, declared on Sept. 7
that "killing enemy civilians during war is normal." So what
do the rabbis have with Hitler? Simply stated, his sin was
the fact that, mistakenly thinking he was head of the Master
Hitler killed human beings; whereas Israelis, who know for
they are the Master Race, merely snuff-out sub-humans.
A GROUP OF PROMINENT JEWISH RABBIS have asked the
Israeli army not to flinch from killing Palestinian civilians
context of the ongoing military campaign against armed groups
esisting the occupation.
In a letter to the Israeli
defense minister, Shaul Mofaz, published
on Sept. 7, 2004, the rabbis said killing enemy civilians is
during time of war and that the Israeli occupation army should
hesitate to kill non-Jewish civilians in order to save Jewish
"There is no war in the world in which it is possible to delineate
entirely between the population and the enemy army, neither in the
US war in Iraq, the Russian war in Chechnya, nor in Israel's
with its enemies," the rabbis declared.
quoted a Talmudic edict, from the ancient "sage," Rabbi
Akiva, as stating:
'Our lives come first."'
One part of the letter scolded Western critics
of Israeli policies
against the Palestinians: "The Christian preaching of
'turning the other
cheek' doesn't concern us, and we will not be impressed
by those who
prefer the lives of our enemies to our lives," Rabbi Druckman
The rabbis represent a dominant segment of Israeli Orthodox Jews
identified with settlers in the West Bank and Gaza. The letter was
signed by a number of these rabbis including Druckman, a former
Israeli Knesset (parliament) member who heads the large
youth movement known as "Bnei Akiva"; Eliezer Melamed, rosh
yeshiva of an occupied West Bank Talmud college; and Rabbi
Sharlo, the director of another Talmud school in Petah Tikva,
combines Talmudic studies with service in the Israeli
On May 19, 2004, Dov Lior, an influential rabbi in the Israeli
settlement of Kiryat Arbaa near Hebron, issued an edict enthusiastically
supporting the killing of Palestinian civilians in Rafah in southern
Gaza, saying that "it is very clear in light of the Torah that Jewish
lives are more important than non-Jewish lives."
Rabbi, Lior argued
that non-Jewish lives have no sanctity, especially
during wartime. Lior has
publicly eulogised Baruch Goldstein, an
American settler from Brooklyn who
in 1994 massacred 40 Palestinian
civilians who were praying at Hebron's
Ibrahimi Mosque. Rabbi Dior
called Goldstein a "great saint."
formulating their theological positions, Lior, Druckman and other
like-minded rabbis rely on the Talmudic maxim which states that in a
war, it is a mitzvah (holy act) to kill gentile women and
In the past four years, since the outbreak of the al-Aqsa
Israeli soldiers and settlers have killed 3500 Palestinians, the
them civilians, including more than 600 children and minors.
[Khalid Amayreh of Al-Jazeera, and Australia's "The Age" newspaper,
contributed to this report].
Learn about the Talmud! Read: "Judaism's
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