Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Incitement Index

A few months ago the rabbis Yitzhak Shapira and Yosef Elitzur of Yitzhar Settlement published the book "Torat Hamelech" (The King's Torah) which won the support and encouragement of several other famous rabbis, and gained fairly wide circulation at some circles in Israel and the settlements.

"The King's Torah" lists some situations in which, according to the authors, the act of Jews killing "Gentiles" would be permissible (or even praiseworthy) under the precepts of the Jewish religion.

Among other things, Rabbis Shapira and Elitzur wrote: "From the verse 'Thou shalt not kill', you cannot draw the conclusion that there exists a prohibition on the killing of Gentiles. Regarding the killing of babies and children, it can be concluded that it is permissible to deliberately harm also infants and completely innocent people. It can be said that this is also to their own benefit, since otherwise they would grow up in an improper way and we would have to kill them anyway. They would grow up to become people who deserve death and for whom there is no room in the world, so it is best to kill them already now".

This week, at long last, marked the launching of the "Index of Incitement" project, on which Prime Minister Netanyahu and his aides have been working for almost a year. A team of senior officials led by Ron Dermer, Netanyahu's political advisor, and retired Brigadier General Yossi Kuperwasser have carefully monitored and recorded unsympathetic statements made by Palestinians. They are to be published and widely distributed, divided into four major categories: explicit incitement to violence, encouraging the creation of an atmosphere of violence and terror, promoting hatred and demonization and failing to prepare the hearts for a positive change.

Of course, this project is limited solely to monitoring Palestinian performance in the field of incitement. Still, it is worthwhile to ask Nethanyhau's experts in which of their four categories they would have placed "The King's Torah".