Anti Fascism

The Stuff of Jewish Terrorism

This is a crosspost by Eyal from The Spittoon

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak received this week a death threat letter, warning him against the settlement freeze by the Israeli government.

“If you think of destroying the settlements, you are mistaken, and I will kill you,” read part of the letter, which has been transferred to the Shin Bet Security Service for investigation, according to Channel 10.

“I will harm you or your children, be careful,” the letter continued. “If not now, then when you are no longer a minister and have no security around you.

Two months ago, Israeli news daily, Ma’ariv exposed a book written and endorsed by prominent right-wing and settler rabbis, advocating the killing of gentiles who endanger Jews.

The article on Ma’ariv’s website (Hebrew) was correct in describing this book as “the stuff of Jewish terrorism”.

In it, the authors, two rabbis from a settlement in the West Bank, provide religious justification for killing anyone who endangers Jewish lives, even if they are a child or a baby.

Shockingly, the book isn’t shy about endorsing revenge attacks. For example, it also allows harming the children of rival leaders in order to deter them from actions against Jews.

“Revenge is an essential [war] need to prove that evil behavior does not pay off.” Therefore, “sometime one must commit ruthless acts that are designed to create the correct element of fear.”

However the book doesn’t stop there, and also justifies killing anyone, Jew or non-Jew, who supports the opposite side, and even children if it is foreseeable that these children will grow up to be enemies of the Jews:

“Anyone who supports the evil army in any way is a supporter of murderers and is considered a rodef. A civilian who encourages the war gives strength to the [enemy’s] king and soldiers to continue the war. Therefore, every civilian in the sovereignty fighting against us that encourages the combatants or expresses his satisfaction with their actions is considered a person with an intent to kill. Therefore, he can be killed. And anyone who weakens our sovereignty with his or her speech is also considered a rodef.”

The term rodef is a highly charged one. Literally, it means “pursuer”. In context, it is a murderer, or someone trying to commit murder. It is allowed and even required to kill a “rodef” in order to stop him.

In the past, right-wing religious leaders have been quick to use the charge of “rodef” against Israeli political leaders engaged in negotiations or the transfer of land to the Palestinians. This was heavily employed against Itzhak Rabin in the months before his assassination by an Israeli religious right-winger. Sadly, it is not surprising that it is reappearing now.

There is a fine line connecting theological support by religious leaders for such actions, and the actions of individuals or groups who employ violence against civilians and political leaders in order to achieve political goals.

This is how the people who sent the death threats to Ehud Barak and his family, or those who employ the “price tag” policy against Palestinian civilians feel secure in their divine backing.

This line of thinking has no place in modern society, no matter the denomination it originates from.