Court accepts plea bargain between state, 2 rabbis charged with incitement

The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on Thursday accepted a plea bargain between the state and two Jerusalem rabbis, David and Yitzhak Batzri, who had been charged with racial incitement for making anti-Arab statements. The statements were made during a neighborhood rally on January 9, 2006 against the establishment of a Hebrew-Arabic bilingual school in the Patt neighborhood. According to the agreement, Yitzhak Batzri, head of a Kabbalist yeshiva, was convicted of the charge and sentenced to 140 hours community service. His father, David, was not convicted but, in return, agreed to issue a declaration saying he was opposed to statements that could lead to racist incitement and that he only called for love, brotherhood and friendship. The statement will be posted in the synagogue and community center in Patt and in religious newspapers.