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Sunday Aug. 1, 2010 8:07 PM (EST+7)
Rabbis arrest highlights growing violent extremism in settlements

Read more: Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, Yitzakh Shapira, settler violence, price tag, religious extremism

RAMALLAH, Aug 1 (JMCC) - Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, one of the most notorious proponents of violent extremism in Israel, is being held by authorities on incitement charges, according to The National.

Rabbi Shapira's detainment highlights a growing uneasiness within the Israeli establishment for a brand of extremism that could push the Israeli-Palestinian conflict further towards a religious war.

...Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira is one of the leading ideologues of the extreme wing of the religious settler movement. He is known to be a long-standing champion of the “price-tag” policy of reprisal attacks on Palestinians, including punishing them for attempts by officials to enforce Israeli law against the settlements.

So far the policy has chiefly involved violent harassment of the inhabitants of villages neighbouring Rabbi Shapira’s settlement in Yitzhar, with settlers beating Palestinians, attacking their homes, throwing stones, burning fields, killing livestock and poisoning wells.

It is feared, however, that Rabbi Shapira’s book The King’s Torah, published last year, is intended to offer ideological justifications for widening the scope of such attacks to include killing Palestinians, even children.

Although Rabbi Shapira was released a few hours after his questioning on Monday, dozens of rabbis, as well as several members of parliament, rallied to his side, condemning the arrest.

Shlomo Aviner, one of the settlers’ spiritual leaders, defended the book’s arguments as a “legitimate stance” and one that should be taught in Jewish seminaries...

Read more at The National...






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