Rabin 11 Years On – Should Rabbis Who Incite To Violence Be Jailed?

Today is the 11th yartzeit of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Rabin was murdered by a Modern Orthodox gunman after months of incitement from MO and haredi rabbis.Rabin’s approach to peace was actually more conservative than Sharon’s or Olmert’s, but he was killed because of it nonetheless.

Right now, Jerusalem’s homosexuals are suffering from rabbinic incitement at a higher level than Rabin. Gays and haredim may very well die as a result.

Are rabbinic leaders responsible for their words? If so, should they be tried and, if found guilty, jailed?

I’m generally opposed to incitement law, unless the incitement is a clear and present danger, akin to shouting fire in a crowded theater. I believe this is such a case and, if gays are attacked and/or murdered, the rabbis should pay the highest legal penalty. In other words – lock ’em up.



Filed under Crime, Gay Pride March, Haredim, Israel, Jewish Leadership, Modern Orthodoxy

14 responses to “Rabin 11 Years On – Should Rabbis Who Incite To Violence Be Jailed?

  1. Yochanan Lavie

    Rabbis who incite violence should be jailed, since democracy is not a suicide pact. While we’re at it, Arab Knesset members who coddle terrorists, condone or incite violence, or consort with the enemy should also be jailed. What is good for the right-wing goose is good for the left-wing gander.

  2. Rabbi S

    You are sad and bitter person. Enjoy life here, in hell you will burn!

  3. D

    Rabin was murdered…after months of incitement…from rabbis

    By whom? Name names rather than just assert. The “incitement” meme was trotted out by (not so) well meaning left-leaning pols both in Israel and abroad for months. However, no hard examples were ever brought to public attention. AFAIAC, the “incitement” in question existed mainly in the minds of said pols. Likewise now, in the current scenario, the only explicit death threats come from “unidentified activists”. The Kahane Chai guys et. al. are engaging in several circus-like parades of animals and the like which hardly passes any sort of incitement muster.

  4. If you are unaware of the rabbinic incitement that took place before Rabin’s murder, I suggest you spend a few hows in the JPost archives.

    Certainly you must be aware of Rabbi Abraham Hecht? The incessent cries that Rabin in a rodef?

  5. D

    Attorney-General Menachem Mazuz:

    We must be careful about drawing connections between this, or any other event, and incitement,” he said. “People speak about (Rabin’s) murder as if it was a clear case of incitement, but no one has ever proved that incitement led to the murder. What is clear is that there was a security failure.

    What part of “no one has ever proved that incitement led to the murder” is unclear?

  6. Mazuz agrees there was incitement. He says we do not know if that incitement directly caused the murder. We don’t, because Amir isn’t talking with regard to this, and the “intellegence failure” Mazuz mentions includes having inside information on Amir’s reaction to rabbinic incitement, and possible rabbinic “orders” to kill Rabin.

  7. asas

    >Certainly you must be aware of Rabbi Abraham Hecht? The incessent cries that Rabin in a rodef?

    He convinced Amir to kill Rabin from Ocean Parkway? Give me a break.

  8. He traveled to Israel several times and made those statements. Many Israeli rabbis, including, for example, another Chabad friend of yours, Yitzchak Ginsburg, made similar remarks.

    This is so well documented that it is simply foolish to argue the point. If Rabin had been murdered in 2000 instead of 1995, you’d have tens of thousands of Google hits for rabin rodef.

    I know 11 years is a long time, especially if you’re now in your early 20s, but this stuff actually happened. I was there. I saw it. I heard it. I even read about it in the Jerusalem Post and the Jewish Press, along with other papers.

  9. Bin-Nun is and was a leader of the settlers:


    …Another surprise was Rabbi Yoel Bin-Nun, who revealed after Rabin’s assassination that there were rabbis who had said Rabin was subject to din rodef.

    He received warm applause when he said “Yitzhak is gone, but the incitement is still here. The polarization is very deep. We must have peace talks among ourselves, too. I call on the prime minister to invite the leaders of Peace Now, and Barak to invite the settlers’ leaders and rabbis to hold peace talks.”

  10. D

    I remember that time well (I am only a few years younger than you). R. Ginsburgh was held in adminsistrative detention for several months after implying that the Rabin Administration planned to withdraw from Shechem and thus forcibly abandon his yeshiva there. Hyperbolic perhaps but not incitement. However, I think it safe to say he had valid justifications for harboring some serously negative sentiments toward the government. Having said that, I certainly never recall him calling for anything resembling assassination of the PM or any other official. DISCLOSURE: All this was some time after I had been involved in his yeshiva and had basically parted ways with him over ideological differences.

    AFA Abe Hecht goes, he moderated his comments shortly after he made them.

    The rhetoric reached its peak last spring, when Orthodox Rabbi Abraham Hecht of Brooklyn said that Rabin’s assassination would be acceptable under Jewish law because his plan to withdraw Israeli forces from the occupied territories put the lives of Jewish settlers in danger. Shortly before Rabin’s death, Hecht, who is president of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, wrote a letter to the prime minister apologizing for his statement.

  11. He wrote that letter after he was threatened by his congregation with losing his job, and after much other pressure.

    As for Rabbi Ginsburgh, who I also know, he said it. Someone who does A is a rodef and a rodef should be killed.

  12. D

    “He wrote that letter after he was threatened by his congregation with losing his job, and after much other pressure.”

    So much for the “Orthodox” engaging in incitement. You have just proved the opposite wherein the masses overrule the inciting leader. Next

    “As for Rabbi Ginsburgh, who I also know, he said it. ”

    Cite please? I never heard any such thing.

    “Bin-Nun is and was a leader of the settlers:”

    No sale here. Bin-Nun simply reports what others are doing. What did he say himself that can be construed as incitement? What has ANYONE prominent ever said that can be so construed; the weak Hecht example notwithstanding? You are making proofs by assertion and patronizing without evidence. Show the cards or fold.

  13. noclue

    It was the Rabbis who incited the violence upon Rabin when he was aboard the Altalena.

    If you remember, that was when Rabin was a refugee from the Holocaust in Europe and was fired upon by the Irgun, who killed him.
    Or something like that. I was never good at history, ask Shmarya. Its possible that I got some of the facts of that story mixed up. It was probably the evil (Charedi?) refugees from Hitler on the Altalena who opened fire upon Rabin and then committed suicide, possibly from the guilt of having survived the concentration camps.

    What about free speech. The Supreme Court of The United States has ruled that what you call incitement is protected by the United States Constitution.

    The reason that this parade is being held in Yerushlayim is the same reason that the Neo-Nazis marched in Skolkie. To provoke. It would be better if everybody ignored them.

    The true culpable persons are the defeatists who expelled Jews from Gush Katif thereby leading directly to a perception of weakness which caused thye Lebanon war, and now has resulted in Hamas having hundreds tons of weapons which will almost surely result in another war in Gaza.

  14. Anonymous

    BY Ben Shapiro
    November 5, 2003

    Eight years ago this week, the fate of Israel was sealed. On Nov. 4, 1995, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by Yigal Amir. The murder was tragic, not just because Rabin suffered an untimely death but because Rabin became sacrosanct. The illusory image of Rabin as the tough sabra willing to negotiate with the Arabs, as the invincible general turned peacemaker, as the tolerant, wise leader of the Jewish state, was forever enshrined in the public consciousness. Rabin’s political inheritance, the Oslo Accords, became unassailable.

    On the anniversary of his death, it is now more necessary than ever to explode the myth of Yitzhak Rabin. As long as Rabin’s myth exists, it will be impossible to move beyond his failed policies: negotiation with terror, persecution of the Israeli right wing, apologies for Jewish existence. Rabin was no “great general.” As Uri Milstein’s “The Rabin File” explains, Yitzhak Rabin bears responsibility for many of the most fouled-up military operations in Israeli history. On Dec. 9, 1947, during the War of Independence, Rabin took charge of the Jerusalem sector of the Palmach (the elite striking force of the Haganah, precursor to the Israeli Defense Force). Rabin’s task was to secure Jerusalem and access to the city. Under his watch, Israeli forces met with disaster after disaster. The substantial losses incurred by Rabin’s soldiers led the United States to withdraw support for the establishment of the Jewish state on March 19. Rabin’s military record extends beyond incompetence. The celebrated soldier actually fled the field of battle in 1948. On April 20, a food and supply convoy set out for Jerusalem. The area fell under Rabin’s jurisdiction. His forces failed to secure the road, and the convoy was ambushed. When the ambush occurred, several officers attempted to lead counterattacks; Rabin did not. Instead, he personally drove away for reinforcements. After requesting reinforcements, Rabin did not return to fight with his men — he went to sleep.

    One of Rabin’s proudest military moments came on June 22, 1948. Menachem Begin’s Irgun, another Israeli military group, was in the midst of negotiating a pact with David Ben-Gurion under which Irgun would join the new Israeli Defense Force. Meanwhile, the Irgun had loaded a ship, the Altalena, with weapons and Jewish fighters (many of them Holocaust survivors) to join the IDF. Ben-Gurion ordered that the Altalena be fired upon. Rabin carried out his orders to the letter. Later, Rabin bragged how he had “bumped them off on the deck of the burning ship and while they were trying to swim to safety.” Sixteen Jews were killed, many shot while swimming to shore.

    So much for the “great general.” More importantly, however, Rabin’s true political legacy — the diabolical “peace process” — must be exposed. Before his election in 1992, Rabin promised the Israeli public that he would never negotiate with arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat or his murderous Palestine Liberation Organization. Yet before the Israeli elections, in May 1992, eight Labor Party members, led by master-appeaser Yossi Beilin, met with Abu Mazen (then the head of the PLO “political wing”) in Cairo. This was against Israeli law. According to Yehoshua HaMe’iri, a journalist then stationed in Cairo, “what was discussed was an attempt to ensure a Labor Party victory in the elections.” A quid pro quo was made: Labor would work on behalf of “Palestinians” if the PLO influenced Israeli Arabs to vote Labor.

    After the election, the Rabin government immediately cracked down on Israelis opposing the Oslo Accords. Moshe Feiglin, now the head of the Manhigut Yehudit block within Likud, organized peaceful mass protests. Rabin retaliated by putting Feiglin on trial for “raising fear among the public.” At future protests, the Israeli police were used as a political organization, blocking protesters and sometimes assaulting them. It is vital to remember that before Rabin’s murder, his peace program had been overwhelmingly rejected by the Israeli public. By April 1994, Rabin’s approval rating had dropped to 41 percent. Before his assassination, Rabin was trailing anti-Oslo Likud candidate Benjamin Netanyahu by a wide margin. Only after his murder did the public glorify Rabin.

    After Rabin’s death, the witch hunt shifted into high gear. The Israeli right wing found itself in a position akin to that of the American right wing after the Oklahoma City bombing. Eight years later, the madness has not ceased. The government has shut down the radio station Arutz Sheva, a right-wing news service; actions are underway to shut down Arutz Sheva’s Internet site as well.

    Yitzhak Rabin did not deserve to be murdered. He simply deserved to lose the public trust. He deserved to live out his life in obscurity rather than dying a martyr for a detestable cause.

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