Rabbi Yosef Elitzur
Rabbi Yosef Elitzur Photo by Moti Milrod
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The rabbi of a West Bank settlement was detained yesterday on suspicion of incitement to racism.

Rabbi Yosef Elitzur, from the settlement of Yitzhar, was detained by police and questioned by investigators from the international crimes unit on suspicions of incitement to racism.

Elitzur and Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira co-wrote the book "The King's Torah," which condones the murder of non-Jews if they threaten the welfare of Jews - citing Jewish law to support the argument.

On Wednesday, Rabbi Dov Lior, who supported the book and has refused to appear for questioning by police on the matter, had his lawyer send a letter to the deputy state prosecutor explaining his position.

"[Rabbi Lior] asked me to inform you that he does not intend to answer to anybody on his opinion on Jewish law," Lior's lawyer wrote. "Your harassment of rabbis for their opinions on Jewish law contradicts the state's principles of religious freedom and freedom of expression."

"The King's Torah" was published in November; its preface states that it is forbidden to kill non-Jews, but the book then describes the context in which it is permitted to do so.

According to the book, it is permissible to kill a non-Jew who threatens Israel even if the person is classified as a Righteous Gentile. The book also says that any gentile who supports war against Israel can be killed.