Peace Now calls on A-G to probe Rabbi for incitement

Move comes after Wolpe tells settlers "fire rubber bullets back at soldiers" who evacuate outposts; Wolpe retracts statements.

March 8, 2011 19:02
2 minute read.
 A boy stands by razed structures in Havat Gilad

Settler in Havat Gilad 520. (photo credit: REUTERS/Baz Ratner)


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In response to Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe’s call on Saturday evening for settlers to violently resist evacuations of outposts, Peace Now secretarygeneral Yariv Oppenheimer wrote a letter to the attorneygeneral on Tuesday, asking that he investigate Wolpe for incitement.

“Article 144 D (2) of the penal law states that incitement to violence or terrorism means encouraging or supporting acts that harms a person’s body or puts them at risk of death or grievous injury, and based on the content of the statement and the context in which it was made, poses a highly probable possibility of leading to action. As you know, Rabbi Wolpe has loyal followers who may construe his statements literally and act with violence against security forces in the near future. Therefore, we request that you open an investigation against Wolpe for his statements,” Oppenheimer wrote.

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On Saturday evening, SOS Israel chairman Wolpe, 63, said in a radio interview that following last week’s events at the Gilad Farm outpost in Samaria, where border police fired plastic bullets on settlers, “we need to fire rubber bullets [which are more dangerous than plastic ones, but still less dangerous than metal ones] back at them. If they come to beat us – we need to beat them back.”

Oppenheimer added that it was up to the law enforcement authorities to set clear limits and not allow further escalation of violence by the settlers in the West Bank.

Wolpe has since retracted his statement. In a statement published on the website of his SOS Israel organization, he said that his words were misconstrued and taken out of context and that under no circumstance should anyone fire upon IDF soldiers, “who faithfully serve the People of Israel and the Land of Israel.

“What I said in an interview with the Moreshet radio station was shortly after taking part in a protest in support of an IDF soldier whose home [at Gilad Farm] was demolished,” he wrote.

“My words were said amid a storm of emotion, and expressed my fear and forewarning over a civil war that could break out in light of the atrocious acts of Netanyahu and Barak, who for personal reasons of rating and popularity in the eyes of the Left, and succumbing to pressure from Obama, ordered masked soldiers to shoot rubber bullets at Jews, whose sole sin was their love for the Land of Israel.”

While Wolpe is a Chabad hassid, he bears no official position in the movement, and his organization is neither connected to it nor does it reflect Chabad’s views.

Jonah Mandel contributed to this report.

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