Protest held against arrest of two rabbis

Hundreds of protesters demonstrated in front of the Supreme Court in Jerusalem this week against the arrest of two prominent rabbis.

The demonstrators, which some Israeli media outlets said numbered at least 2,000, rallied July 4 in support of Rabbi Dov Lior (chief rabbi of Kiryat Arba) and Rabbi  Yaakov Yosef (son of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef). Last week, the two were arrested July 3 and questioned on suspicion of incitement for their endorsement of the controversial book, “Torat Hamelech,” or “The King’s Torah,” which reportedly discusses situations in which it is permissible for Jews to kill non-Jews.

The book’s author, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, previously had been detained and questioned over the contents of his book.

“Rabbis should express their opinion and not fear someone won’t like it,” Lior told the protesters.

Speakers said they attended the rally to protest a double standard under which rabbis were arrested for their interpretations of the Torah but left-wing academics who called for violence against Jewish settlers were not investigated. — jta