Right-wing activists attempted to block the entrance to Jerusalem on Monday, in protest of the arrest earlier in the day of Kiryat Arba Chief Rabbi Dov Lior.
Lior was arrested, questioned, and released on Monday after refusing to appear for an inquiry for his endorsement of the controversial book, “Torat Hamelech,” which justifies killing non-Jews.
Right-wing activists protest Rabbi Dov Lior's arrest
Police arrested six of the protesters at Jerusalem's entrance, which caused heavy traffic leading into the city.
Around 200 protesters also gathered outside the High Court of Justice in Jerusalem, demonstrating against the popular rabbi's arrest. Police deny earlier reports that the protesters broke into the courthouse.
After the book which garnered Rabbi Lior's endorsement was published, police opened an investigation on the grounds of incitement. The author of the book, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, was detained, questioned and released.
An endorsement written by three rabbis was added to the book, following a standard practice in books pertaining to the Torah when a junior rabbi asks for approval from a rabbi senior to him. Rabbi Yosef Ginsburg, one of the approvers, was investigated a year ago. Two other rabbis, Dov Lior and Ya’akov Yosef, were summoned for questioning but refused to attend.
The police arrested Rabbi Lior on Monday afternoon, who has said in the past that the Torah is above the law, and that it is unacceptable for a rabbi to be investigated for publishing Torah-related work.
National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari said in response that the “Public Security Minister should be fired,” claiming that the police always treat Arab leaders carefully and here they are disparaging a great figure in Israel.
Kadima MK Nahman Shai defended the arrest of Rabbi Lior, saying "In the State of Israel, the law is above everything, even the rabbi."
Meretz MK Zahava Gal-On lauded the arrest of Rabbi Lior, whose words over the years she said has "given legitimization and support to acts of violence of the radical right."
SOS Israel, a group of rabbis which according to their website "oppose and fight the political accords with the Arabs that include land or security concessions" condemned Rabbi Lior's arrest.
The arrest is "crossing all red lines" and is an "inexcusable crime to arrest one of the most special of rabbis," the group said.
In February , Knesset members of the National Union party, Shas and Agudath Israel proposed a “Dov Lior Law” that would grant immunity for rabbis regarding halachic material they publish, or concerning opinions they have given in relation to “The Torah of Israel.”
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