[News] Top Israeli rabbis advocate genocide
news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jun 1 11:38:03 EDT 2007
Top Israeli rabbis advocate genocide
Ali Abunimah writing from Chicago, USA, Live from Palestine, 31 May 2007
Legitimate targets, to senior Israeli theocrats: Palestinian children
play on the rubble of a destroyed Hamas training base after an
Israeli air strike in the southern Gaza Strip, 29 May 2007. (Hatem
Yesterday I wrote a piece entitled
of Horrors" about the openly murderous statements of Israeli cabinet
ministers. Just when I thought it couldn't get worse, I read a news
article on the website of
Jerusalem Post that Israel's former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Mordechai
Eliyahu -- one of the most senior theocrats in the Jewish State
"ruled that there was absolutely no moral prohibition against the
indiscriminate killing of civilians during a potential massive
military offensive on Gaza aimed at stopping the rocket launchings"
("Eliyahu advocates carpet bombing Gaza," The Jerusalem Post, 30 May, 2007).
The Jerusalem Post reported that Mordechai made this ruling in a
letter to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert citing biblical
authority. The letter was published in a weekly journal distributed
in synagogues throughout Israel. The report states that "According to
Jewish war ethics, wrote Eliyahu, an entire city holds collective
responsibility for the immoral behavior of individuals. In Gaza, the
entire populace is responsible because they do nothing to stop the
firing of Kassam rockets."
Eliayahu's son, Shmuel Eliayhu, himself chief rabbi of Safad,
amplified his father's comments, stating: "If they don't stop after
we kill 100, then we must kill a thousand." He added, "And if they do
not stop after 1,000 then we must kill 10,000. If they still don't
stop we must kill 100,000, even a million. Whatever it takes to make
This kind of genocidal hatred of Palestinians is not unusual in
Israel. What used to be unusual was for it to be spoken so brazenly
and openly. Of course we know what would happen if a Muslim or
Palestinian religious figure made such a statement. We know the
international outcry when Iran's President Ahmadinejad allegedly made
statements calling for the elimination of Israel. Will all those EU
officials who curried favor by condemning Ahmedinejad take an equally
strong and public stance against Israel's former chief rabbi? Will
they demand that Olmert publicly repudiate the letter he received?
A Muslim making such statements about Jews would certainly be
banished from traveling to the United States, and could end up in
Guantanamo for much less.
Under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of
Genocide adopted in the wake of the Nazi holocaust, "Direct and
public incitement to commit genocide" is a punishable act. One
wonders whether the UN Security Council, which created an
international tribunal to investigate the killing of one man in
Lebanon, will pay any attention to the indiscriminate state- and
theocratically-sanctioned massacres of Palestinians by Israel.
Will Hillary Clinton, who continues to defame Palestinian
schoolchildren with the lie that they are taught "hatred" in their
schoolbooks, or any of our other pandering candidates, take a moment
out from praising Israel to condemn Eliayahu's statement? What about
Oprah Winfrey, who at the invitation of Elie Wiesel is to undertake a
"solidarity" visit to Israel?
It seems there are no moral restraints left in Israel. It is right
and proper that such a regime be isolated with
divestment and sanctions until it desists from its racist -- and
potentially genocidal -- practices. It is to be celebrated that an
increasing number of individuals and organizations understand this:
yesterday the governing body of the UK's University and College Union
overwhelmingly to support a boycott of Israeli academia. Today
UNISON, the UK's largest public service union announced it will vote
on similar motions at its next congress. As Israel's house of horror
grows, so does the movement to confront it. In that there is great hope.
Ali Abunimah is cofounder of the online publication The Electronic
Intifada and author of
<http://electronicintifada.net/bytopic/store/548.shtml>One Country: A
Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse.
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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