(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The High Court of Justice on Wednesday ruled in a split ruling that there is no basis to indict the authors of the book Torat Hamelech (“The King’s Torah”) for incitement.
The move upheld Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein’s 2012 decision not to prosecute the authors despite having opened a criminal investigation into whether their book constituted incitement, seemingly resolving a major topic of national dispute about the boundaries of free speech and incitement.
The authors, Rabbis Yitzhak Shapira and Yosef Elitzur, published the book in 2009, arguing that, according to Jewish law, in certain circumstances killing gentiles is permissible, and even in some cases to kill the babies of enemy forces. Weinstein had closed the case, stating that Torat Hamelech was written in a general manner and does not call for violence.
Supreme Court President Miriam Naor and Vice President Elyakim Rubinstein supported Weinstein’s decision on Wednesday, while Justice Salim Joubran voted against, arguing that an indictment should be filed.