Rabbi Dov Lior
Rabbi Dov Lior. Photo by Kobi Gideon
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Kiryat Arba Chief Rabbi Dov Lior, one of the senior figures of religious Zionism, was arrested Monday after he refused to appear for questioning for his endorsement of the controversial book, “Torat Hamelech,” which justifies killing non-Jews.

Following the publication of the book, police opened an investigation on grounds of incitement. The author of the book, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, was detained, questioned and released. Rabbi Lior was also released on Monday, after being questioned by police.

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 ask 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.

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.”