The arrest of Dov Lior for his connection to a racist text that calls for the murder of Arab babies on the grounds that they may one day grow up to hate us sparks protests and riots across Israel's capital.
Rabbi Lior's arrest sparks protest
(Video) Police arrest six demonstrators blocking Route 1 in protest against Rabbi Lior's arrest. Some activists set tires on fire. Meanwhile, rabbi suspected of incitement released from custody after two-hour interrogation
Ynet reporters (see list at bottom)
VIDEO - Dozens of right-wing activists blocked the entrance to Jerusalem Monday and set tires on fire following the arrest of Rabbi Dov Lior for incitement suspicions. Six protestors were arrested.
Police and rescue forces were dispatched to the area. Meanwhile, the rabbi who is suspected of inciting against non-Jews by supporting the book "The King's Torah", has been released from custody after being questioned for two hours.
Also Monday, hundreds of youth tried to break into the Supreme Court compound in Jerusalem and were blocked by police. A large water tank is preventing the protestors from approaching the gate. Police arrested several rioters.
Haim, a driver stuck in traffic, said: "The activists are sitting on the road. They also torched tires. Police tried to evacuate them forcefully but did not succeed."
Another driver noted, "I haven't seen anything like it since the Gush Katif demonstrations." He added that several ultra-Orthodox men joined the protest.
The protestors are chanting "Torah has been arrested "and "We won't stay silent when Torah's honor is at stake." They are being led by MK Michael Ben Ari.
Ben Ari said: "To us Rabbi Lior is following the path of Moses and Akiva ben Joseph. Anyone who tramples over him, tramples over the Torah. Leftists are the Supreme Court, they want to be superior and we are here to stop them."
Right-wing activists also blocked the entrance to Kiryat Arba. "Rabbi Lior's arrest is a declaration of war," one of the protestors said. "We shall block junctions and disrupt life using all means and stopping at no red lines."
Police also plan to summon Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, who recommended the book, for questioning. They will then hand over investigation materials to the State Prosecutor's Office which will consider further action.
MK Uri Ariel (National Union) said: "The police and state prosecution have decided to persecutre rabbis for their halachic positions. This is a state silencing attempt that cannot take place in a democratic state. His arrest is the same as that of a university lecturer or a judge."
An arrest warrant was issued against Rabbi Lior a few months ago for alleged incitement over statements he made in support of the book "The King's Torah," which legitimized the killing of non-Jews in war time. He was arrested Monday, near Jerusalem.
'Is this Soviet Russia?'
Rabbi Lior's son Yair was outraged over the arrest. "This is a serious offence against the settler public but they are to blame for allowing themselves to be trampled on during the disengagement and other evacuations."
He further added: "This is a silencing attempt which is against democracy. I want to see where are all the bleeding hearts, the leftists who talk about the public's rights and are suddenly silent. They're hypocrites."
He also called on for the dismissal of Deputy State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan who ordered the arrest.
"Is this Soviet Russia where a man is abducted for his opinions alone? It's a dictatorship. My father is a man who says the truth and was thus persecuted. He says that the Land of Israel is ours and that God Almighty promised this land to us and not the sons of Ishmael."
Yair Altman, Omri Efraim, Ronen Medzini, Moran Azulay, Kobi Nahshoni and Aviel Magnezi contributed to this report
[Hat Tip: Seymour.]