Branding Ariel Sharon a "Nazi collaborator," a group of Chabad rabbis, calling themselves the World Organization for Saving the Land and the People of Israel, sent a letter to Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz on Sunday calling for charges to be brought against the prime minister for "cooperating with the Nazis."
Three days before the anniversary of the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, Rabbi Yekutiel Rap from New York and Rabbi Shalom Volpo from Kiryat Gat called on Mazuz to "activate the Nazis and Nazi Collaborators Law and to press charges against Sharon and his supporters."
"Terrorist organizations are the Nazis of our generation," their letter said. "There is clearly cooperation with the Nazis when the Knesset and the government plan to deport thousands of Jews from their homes in order to transfer the property to Nazi organizations."
"It is known that the Nazis did not complete their job with the end of World War II and that their representatives in our generation are terrorist organizations, who day and night declare their desire to destroy the Jewish people," their letter added.
Volpo said his letter expresses the view of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, whom he refers to as Moshiach. He dismissed criticism of his comparison between the Holocaust and the disengagement plan, saying: "The Palestinians are doing the work of the Nazis in our generation. Sharon's desire is to help our enemies who, if they could, would do again what the Nazis already did to us....
"Everything I wrote in the letter is based on what the Rebbe, who is our King and Moshiach, said. The Rebbe said transferring land to the Palestinians would endanger millions of Jews. There is no Holocaust greater than that," Volpo said.
At the end of their letter, Rap and Volpo wrote that their words should not be interpreted as incitement.
"We are only interested in shaking up the law enforcement agencies in Israel so that they will pursue justice according to the state's laws," their letter said.
According to Chabad spokesman Rabbi Menachem Brod, Rap and Volpo do not represent mainstream Chabad, but are part of a fringe group with extreme views. [The "fringe group" dominates Chabad in Israel. Of course, Rabbi Brod did not mention that.]
Labor MK Eitan Cabel expressed shock at the comparison between Sharon and Nazi collaborators and called on Mazuz to immediately launch a criminal investigation against the letter's authors.
"It is disgraceful that these people call themselves rabbis," he said. "I call on the attorney-general to immediately launch an investigation, to press charges against these so-called rabbis, and to begin to do his job by protecting democracy in this country."
Yahad MK Yossi Sarid said Chabad "is the most annoying movement in Israel since they roll their eyes up to heaven and speak of unity, claiming they are not political, but really they are the most political of the religious movements."
Last month, the State Attorney's Office decided to launch an investigation against Women in Green leader Nadia Matar after she branded Disengagement Administration director Yonatan Bassi "a far more terrible version" of the Judenrat.
Justice Ministry officials said on Sunday that Rap's and Volpo's letter is more complicated, and the State Attorney's Office will require time to decide if an investigation should be launched.
"In the case of Matar, she sent a letter to Bassi in which she insulted him," a Justice Ministry official said. "In this case, however, the rabbis sent a letter to Mazuz asking him to launch an investigation against Sharon since he is collaborating with the Nazis, and that does not necessarily constitute an offense of insulting a public official."