Another bad idea

A couple of prominent rabbis were briefly held for questioning in Jerusalem recently.

Rabbis Dov Lior and Yacob Yousef had endorsed a highly controversial book, the King’s Torah – written by two lesser-known settler rabbis. It justifies killing non-Jews, including those not involved in violence, under certain circumstances.

The fifth chapter, entitled “Murder of non-Jews in a time of war” has been widely quoted in the Israeli media. The summary states that “you can kill those who are not supporting or encouraging murder in order to save the lives of Jews”.

At one point it suggests that babies can justifiably be killed if it is clear they will grow up to pose a threat.

How would that be “clear,” one wonders? Under what circumstances could that ever be clear? How could it ever be “clear” that existing enmities and conflicts will be unchanged in 15 or 20 years? Even hideously intractable ones like that over Israel.

Preventive murder as a religious principle…let’s not.

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