Hebrew U hosts talk on religious laws outlining killing of gentiles

After Haifa University canceled a lecture on the book “King’s Torah” (Torat HaMelech)–which discusses religious regulations on killing non-Jews–the event was held yesterday at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University.

The head of the Department of Jewish Philosophy, Avinoam Rosenak, spoke at the event as did Rabbi Israel Ariel of the Dorshei Yehudcha yeshiva, which was recently shut down on the advice of Israeli General Security Services (Shin Bet or Shabak). According to the Shin Bet, students of the yeshiva, which was located in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, “are involved in illegal and violent activities against Palestinians and the security forces.”

In addition to his affiliation with the closed yeshiva, Rabbi Ariel was also a Knesset candidate from the Kach Party, which was founded by right-wing extremist Meir Kahaneand promoted the deportation of all Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinian residents of the Occupied Territories. Israel outlawed the Kach party and both the United States and Israel categorize it as a terrorist organization.

“King’s Torah” was written by Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira and Rabbi Yosef Elizur who also live in Yitzhar and who, according to Israel’s Channel 10, have recently joined Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party. The book discusses religious regulations related to killing gentiles in both peace and war. For example, in Chapter Four, “Jewish and Gentile Souls,” the authors say that wherever the presence of a gentile threatens the life of Israel, it is permitted to kill the gentile even if he is a righteous person and should not be blamed for the situation.

In the chapter regarding the killing of non-Jews during war, the authors claim that in Judaism it is permissible to kill enemy combatants, as well as those who help and support them and those who encourage them, because all of them are enemies of Israel. The chapter adds that it is permitted to hit enemy targets even if innocent gentiles will be harmed in those attacks.

Hebrew University claimed that the event was not organized by the university, but by Beit Hillel. However, the invitation to the event included the logos of the Hebrew University, the Faculty of Humanities, and the Department of Jewish Philosophy.

This post, which was written by Sergio Yahni and myself, first appeared on the AIC website.

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