Rabbis: Naveh deserves to be killed

Accused of treason for signing restraining orders against W. Bank residents.

By MATTHEW WAGNER
January 18, 2007 19:08
2 minute read.
maj-gen yair naveh 298 88 idf

yair naveh 298 88 idf. (photo credit: IDF [file])

A group of rabbis have issued a halachic opinion implying that OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh deserves to be killed. The rabbis, all connected with a movement to resurrect the Sanhedrin, the ancient Jewish governing body, said in their halachic ruling this week that Naveh was guilty of being a moser, a Hebrew word that can be roughly translated as an informant or traitor. Literally, it means someone who transfers another's property or person to enemy authorities. The rabbis see the Olmert government as the equivalent of a gentile enemy that "evilly and violently expels and causes mental and physical damage to Jews." Maimonides ruled in his Mishneh Torah: "It is permitted to kill a Jewish moser anywhere, even today when rabbinic courts are not permitted to decide on capital punishment matters." Maimonides stipulated that the death penalty is issued even if the person is not currently involved in traitorous activity but is expected to do so again in the future. Naveh's supposed treason consists of signing administrative orders prohibiting approximately 20 right-wing extremists who live in Judea and Samaria from returning to their homes and families for an indefinite period. The IDF said that the orders, which were issued without a trial, have prevented clashes between settlers and Palestinians. However, the rabbis said the administrative orders were part of Naveh's plan to "prepare settlements in Judea and Samaria for transfer to the enemy. Abandoning these places to foreigners endangers Jewish lives." In the halachic decision, which is personally addressed to Naveh, who is Orthodox, the rabbis accuse him of transgressing the prohibition against "passively standing by while your brother is killed." Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, head of the Temple Institute in Jerusalem and a former IDF rabbi, signed the decision together with Rabbis Reuven Hass, Yehuda Edri and Ido Elbo, and Prof. Hillel Weiss of Bar-Ilan University. Ariel's brother, Ramat Gan Chief Rabbi Ya'acov Ariel, said he had nothing to do with his brother's actions. "That decision is not based on halacha," Ya'acov Ariel said. "It was politically motivated." However, Rabbi Yishai Babad, secretary of the Rabbinic Committee of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip (Yesha), said that the halachic ruling against Naveh was correct in principle. "But Yesha rabbis would not issue such a decision for fear some hothead might get the wrong idea and try to take the law into his own hands," Babad said. Weiss said that he and the rabbis who issued the decision had no intention of advocating murder. "We just hope that Naveh will wake up and stop his criminal activities," he said. Betar Illit Mayor Yitzhak Pindrus criticized what he called "fringe elements" for issuing the moser ruling. "The public must denounce those uneducated louts, who cynically manipulate the Torah in a damaging way against a senior IDF officer who has done so much to support Jewish settlements," he said.


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