Last Update: 30/06/2004 15:46
Knesset to debate rabbi's 'rodef' remarks
By Nadav Shragai, Haaretz Correspondent, and Haaretz Service
The Knesset will hold a special debate next week in the wake of a top Jerusalem rabbi's remark that anyone who wants to cede the land of Israel is like a "rodef," who can be killed according to Jewish law, Army Radio reported Wednesday.
Earlier Wednesday, the radio reported that MKs Eitan Cabel (Labor) and Avshalom Vilan (Meretz-Yahad) asked the attorney general to open an investigation into the rabbi of the Old City of Jerusalem, Rabbi Avigdor Neventzal, who made the comments Tuesday.
"It should be known that anyone who wants to give away Israeli land is like a rodef, and certainly land should not be given to idol worshipers," Neventzal said. However, he also said it is impossible to issue a rodef ruling today.
A public storm erupted nine years ago when West Bank and Gaza Strip rabbis debated before the 1995 assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin whether he should be subjected to "din rodef" - the Jewish law of rodef, which literally means one who chases and refers to a license to kill someone who intends to kill someone else.
This is the first time that din rodef has been mentioned again by a respectable rabbi in the context of giving away Israeli lands.
There's an update today by Reuters here.
There's a commentary on Yigal Amir's use of the concept here, written by Yitzchok Adlerstein and published in 1996 in First Things, but I can't find a reference anywhere to the specific (rabbinic?) texts that refer to din rodef. Can anyone help me out?
UPDATE (9 July): More here.