A-G Decides to Indict Rabbi Ginzburg for Incitement

Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein decided Monday to indict rabbi Yitzhak Ginzburg for incitement to racism.

Rubinstein's decision came after a police investigation that was launched following a complaint filed against the rabbi by attorney David Shonberg from Jerusalem, who said that Ginzburg's book Tipul Shoresh ("Root Treatment") contains inciteful comments, such as comparing the Arabs to a cancer.

Rubinstein decided to hold a hearing for Ginzburg's attorney Naftaly Varzburger before submitting the indictment to a court.

Army Radio quoted Ginzburg's lawyer as saying that the timing of the decision was puzzling, because the book was distributed two years ago, and that Ginzburg was being persecuted for expressing religious and philosophical beliefs.

Rubinstein has previously rejected several demands to indict Ginzburg. In 2001 the State Prosecutor closed a sedition case against the rabbi, launched following a petition submitted by attorneys Shonberg and Moshe Frankfurter.

In their petition, they said that Ginzburg made inciteful comments to the Jerusalem weekly newspaper Kol Hazman and the daily newspaper Ma'ariv. In both, he reiterated his support for Baruch Goldstein's 1994 massacre of Palestinians at prayer in the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

In Ginzburg's book, he claims that the land of Israel belongs only to the Children of Israel and that no "goy" (non-Jew) has the right to live in the area unless he is a convert or a righteous Gentile.

The book contains calls for the Arabs to be expelled from Israel and for the land to be "cleansed" of foreigners. Ginzburg, one of the heads of the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva (which was located in Nablus before it was evacuated during the Intifada and subsequently destroyed by Palestinians), also calls on readers not to employ or trade with Arabs.

A similar police investigation against Ginzburg was launched following the 1998 publication of his book Baruch Hagever ("Baruch the Man"), which praised Baruch Goldstein's deeds in Hebron, but in the end, the state prosecutor decided not to indict Ginzburg. However, Ginzburg received a stern warning from the police that should he reiterate such statements in the future, criminal proceedings would be launched against him.