mercredi 14 juin 2017

Israeli rabbi charged with 'incitement' for posts condoning killing of non-Jews

Un rabbin sioniste accusé d'incitation à travers des publications approuvant le meurtre des non-juifs

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- An extremist Israeli rabbi, who is a leader in the notoriously violent illegal Yitzhar settlement, was indicted on Tuesday for “incitement to violence,” following a 2015 petition to the Israeli Supreme Court from Israeli human rights groups demanding that the rabbi be charged.

The Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), one of the groups who filed the petition, released a statement Tuesday confirming that Rabbi Yosef Elitzur was indicted on charges of incitement for authoring publications condoning the killing of non-Jews.

Elitzur was one of the authors of “Torat HaMelech -- The King’s Torah,” which details the conditions in which Jews are allowed to kill non-Jews.

According to Israeli news website Ynet, the rabbi was also charged with inciting violence against Palestinians in two articles he published in May 2013 following the killing of Israeli Evyatar Borovsky near the Zaatara military checkpoint in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.

At the time, Ynet added, the rabbi was a senior teacher at the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva in the Yitzhar settlement, was teaching teenagers in other educational institutions in the occupied West Bank, and was also writing regular columns on the Jewish Voice website.

Ynet quoted the indictment as saying that on May 1, 2013, a day after Borovsky's death, Elitzur published an op-ed titled "Don't despair, just grow," in which he wrote, among other things, "There is a growing and expanding phenomenon of actions taken by warm and caring Jews against the enemy (Palestinians),” adding that such actions were “the first signs of a growing public that takes responsibility over Jews' security."

Anat Hoffman, the executive director of IRAC, commented on the indictment, saying that “it is high time Israel cease to tolerate the intolerable. A rabbi like him contaminates our Jewish tradition and pollutes our democracy. Freedom of speech ends when hate and violence are preached and practiced.”

Last week, two extreme right-wing Israelis were found guilty of incitement, with one of the two sentenced to community service, in a rare instance of Jewish Israelis being prosecuted for anti-Palestinian hate speech.

A February report released by the Arab Center for Social Media Advancement 7amleh documented that slanderous, provocative, and threatening posts made by Israelis against Arabs and Palestinians more than doubled in 2016, reaching 675,000 posts made by 60,000 Hebrew-speaking Facebook users -- “while almost not a single case of incitement has been opened against Israeli instigators.”

By contrast, Israeli forces detained at least 400 Palestinians in less than a year over social media activity, and 400 others were detained for the same reason by the Palestinian Authority through its widely condemned policy of security coordination with Israel, Israeli news daily Haaretz reported in April.

A more recent report by Haaretz revealed how Israel has been monitoring Palestinians’ social media profiles and subsequently making arrests when “the kid doesn’t know that he is a terrorist yet,” as one Israeli army officer put it.

Suppression of Palestinian freedom of expression in recent months has also seen bookstores shuttered, while activists, journalists, novelists, and poets have been detained.

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