Rabbi Yaakov Shapira 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Prominent settler leader Rabbi Dov Lior, who had an arrest warrant issued against him a day before, said on Tuesday that he was willing to be investigated by police if they come to his home, Army Radio reported.
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"I agree to be investigated - if the investigators come to my home," Lior said as hundreds of Kiryat Arba residents rallied in front of his home in the settlement.
Court orders release of Yitzhar rabbi Shapira
Police said Lior will be arrested
if he does not present himself for questioning about his endorsement of a book called Torat Hamelech.
Police are conducting a wide-ranging investigation into the book, written by Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, which states that non-Jewish civilians can be killed in certain situations during wartime.
"This is an attempt to scare me and other rabbis since our views do not agree with those of certain bureaucrats in the Justice Ministry," Lior added.
"To prohibit rabbis from publicizing the words of the Torah resembles
the Communist regime in Bolshevik Russia," he continued. "This is an
attempt to silence the Torah's words. Lately there have been many
attempts to investigate rabbis over this background."
MK Ya'acov Katz (National Union) on Tuesday expressed his "shock and disgust" at Lior's arrest warrant.
"The people of Israel are embarrassed by its Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and the police leadership whose hatred of Torah makes them unreasonable," Katz said. "They would never arrest the dean of a [university], or a Christian or Muslim priest for endorsing a book."
He added: "This arrest warrant is reminiscent of the darkest regimes in Israel's history."
Lior is the rabbi of Kiryat Arba and is one of the leading
rabbinical leaders of the religious Zionist movement. The threat to arrest him
has angered his followers, as well as many settler and right-wing
activists.Tovah Lazaroff, Yaakov Lappin and Jonah Mandel contributed to this report.