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Israeli court releases racist rabbi

26 August 2010 8:27

An Israeli court has ordered the release of an extremist rabbi who sparked outrage across the globe for inciting Jews to kill non-Jews, even children.

Yossi (Yosef) Elitzur, a resident of the hardline Yitzhar settlement in the north of the occupied West Bank, was arrested on Thursday for incitement to racism and violence, AFP reported.

But a court in Rishon LeZion, near Tel Aviv, ordered that the rabbi be released the same day, saying police had failed to call him in first for questioning.

The King’s Torah, a controversial book Elitzur co-authored with another rabbi, says Jews are allowed to kill “those who, by speech, weaken our sovereignty,” adding that it is permissible to kill a non-Jew who threatens Israel even if the person is classified as a Righteous Gentile.

The book says is okay to kill children if they “stand in the way.” “They stand in the way of rescue in their presence and they are doing this without wanting to.”

“Nonetheless, killing them is allowed because their presence supports murder. There is justification in harming infants if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us. Under such circumstances the blow can be directed at them and not only by targeting adults,” Ha’aretz quoted the book as saying.

Published in November 2009, the book has drawn strong criticism from numerous rabbis who say it contradicts the teachings of Judaism.

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