Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Monday, June 04, 2012

Equality before the law (except for the religious leaders who run the country)

Two days after the post where I linked to the dog-stoning story I posted this. Sadly, this one doesn't turn out to have been a hoax: the settler-terrorists at Yitzhar really did fire a rocket into a Palestinian village, and one of their rabbis really did publish a book calling for the slaughter of non-Jews (and for stone-throwing children to be punished by amputation). The USA really does fund these people, and the IDF are indeed getting fed up with them (see here for a current example of how these illegal settlers behave, and the IDF's response). Even the Israeli government decided that the terrorist training centres (yeshivas) which the genocidal rabbi was running in Yitzhar should be closed down.

So good news there, and as I reported at the end of my earlier post, good news that one of the promoters of the gentile-killing manual had been arrested.

Well, this week we have the news that the Israeli government has decided not to pursue the investigation into the authors and promoters of this incitement to genocide, because - get this - the calls for murder were wrapped up in religious language. (What, in the same way that crazy mullahs who call for the destruction of Israel wrap their murderous intent in the language of religion?)

The most alarming part of the decision is its reasoning: Attorney General Weinstein noted that while Torat Ha’Melech contained severe racist terms, he did not have grounds for conviction, since the rabbis couched their incitement to racism in religious terms. Weinstein wrote that the law allowed for punishing someone who implicitly incited to racism was, well, his intention to such incitement, the law specifically exempted “religious studies” from prosecution.

As the article points out, the Attorney General is right about the law: under the Israeli criminal code this example of racist and genocidal hatred is perfectly legal. The article also reminds us that "no serious rabbinical figure took on debunking the book".

So the Israeli religious establishment is untroubled by the book, and because in Israel as in other theocracies religious leaders are held to be above the law, the perpetrators of this vileness walk free.

While this has been a big story in the Israeli press, and has made it onto some non-Israeli online news outlets, the only reference I can find to it in the British media is in the Independent. Strange, that.... I mean, with the BBC supposedly being biased against Israel the last thing you would expect from it is a cover-up of a story showing that Israel's religious leaders support genocide and are above the law. Of course, if you don't live in La-La land and have observed that the BBC invariably supports the Israeli government on anything connected with the occupation you will be unsurprised.

It would be easy to leap to the conclusion that this means it's open season on non-Jews around the world. Perhaps I should change my blog's masthead (with a nod to Bonni Benstock-Intall of BarenakedIslam) to read "It isn't antisemitism when they really are trying to kill you". But that would be wrong for precisely the same reason that Bonni is wrong. We haven't all been murdered in our beds by crazed jihadis because the average Muslim, whether in Saudi Arabia, Iran or the UK, has no interest in slaughtering non-Muslims, whatever his/her religious leaders might recommend. And the same is true of Judaism. Yes, there are doubtless plenty of Jews in Israel and elsewhere who would kill me without compunction if they could for the crime of not being Jewish, but they are hugely outnumbered by the sane Jews who harbour no such desires.

Which is why the presence in Britain and the USA of huge communities of unrepentantly unassimilated orthodox Jews doesn't freak me out any more than the presence of unassimilated Muslims. I wouldn't feel safe near one of the illegal Jewish West Bank settlements any more than I would in Kandahar, but that brand of religious blood lust doesn't travel.

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