70 rabbis protest arrest warrant against Rabbi Dov Lior
Leading national religious rabbis sign protest letter over the police's intention to arrest prominent settler leader.
By JONAH MANDEL • JERUSALEM POST
Nearly seventy prominent national-religious rabbis signed a letter of protest to be published Friday over the police's intention made public on Monday to arrest prominent settler leader and Kiryat Arba Chief Rabbi Dov Lior if he continues to ignore their requests to present himself for questioning about his endorsement of the Torah Hamelech book.
Heads of the some of the leading educational institutions within the sector, such as Rabbis Haim Druckman of Or Etzion, David Stav of Tzohar and the Petah Tikvah hesder yeshiva, Elyakim Levanon and Eliezer Melamed, defended Lior's ongoing refusal to be investigated for the rabbinic endorsement (haskama) he gave to the book authored by Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira and Rabbi Yosef Elitzur of the Od Yosef Hai Yeshiva in Yitzhar, which advocates killing innocent non-Jewish in certain situations during wartime.
Lior and Rabbi Ya’acov Yosef, son of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, have since the summer been publicly refusing the summons. Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsberg of Kfar Chabad, who endorsed Torat Hamelech as well, appeared to the police questioning he was summoned to last year and used the opportunity to explain to the police officers the halachic reasoning behind his support for the book. On Thursday, Yosef told the Galei Israel radio station that police also showed up at his house with a warrant like Lior's, but since nobody was home – left the premise without handing it to him.
“We hereby protest the arrest warrant issued by the police and State Attorney's Office for the arrest of Rabbi Dov Lior,” the letter published to be published Friday's Makor Rishon, read. “To us, this is a disgrace to the Torah and those who study it, an attempt to curb the rabbis' freedom of expression through severe, unaccepted and anti-democratic measures, which were never utilized against intellectuals from the Left, despite extreme sentiment expressed against the state and its citizens.”
“We call upon Justice Minister Yaacov Neeman and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to act immediately to cancel this humiliating order,” the rabbis wrote.