Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, wanted for questioning over his endorsement of a religious tract explaining when killing non-Jews is permissible, came to Jerusalem police headquarters yesterday to attend the swearing-in of the new district commander, Maj. Gen. Niso Shaham.
About 18 months ago, Yosef issued a written endorsement of the book Torat Hamelech ("The King's Torah" ). The book considers various situations in which killing Gentiles is permitted.
In the subsequent investigation, police questioned both the author, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, and Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg, who also endorsed the book. But Yosef and Rabbi Dov Lior, who endorsed the book as well, refused to show up for questioning, saying they felt they were being persecuted, and that a religious tract could not be investigated by the police.
The police's serious crimes unit is still deliberating over how to handle this refusal. But meanwhile, Yosef showed up yesterday for Shaham's swearing-in, together with Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, politicians and religious leaders. He sat with the other guests of honor and shook hands and spoke to many senior police officers.
Police said the rabbi was not invited by anyone official, and that he spent only a few minutes at the ceremony before walking out again.
Also present was one of Yosef's sons, Jonathan Yosef, a leader of the Jewish community in East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. An investigation against the younger Yosef on suspicions of violence was recently closed for "lack of public interest."
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