Criminal probe of Rabbi Wolpe ordered

Rabbi allegedly organized a gathering in honor of soldiers who refused orders to evict settlers from Hebron.

rabbi shalom dov wolpe 88 (photo credit: )
rabbi shalom dov wolpe 88
(photo credit: )
The State Attorney's Office on Sunday ordered police to investigate the organizers of a gathering in honor of soldiers who refused orders to evict Jewish settlers from the wholesale market in Hebron and were jailed for their refusal. During the gathering the soldiers received cash prizes. Deputy State Attorney Shai Nitzan, head of the Special Tasks Division, instructed the police to investigate whether they were guilty of incitement to evasion of duty, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in jail, and incitement to disobedience, which carries a maximum sentence of one year. The gathering was organized by a right-wing organization called Save the Land and the Nation (SOS) headed by Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe. Nitzan also asked the police to investigate the publication of a proclamation on the Internet in the name of the same organization declaring that any soldier who refused to participate in the evacuation of settlers from the disputed building on Worshipers' Way in Hebron would be awarded with thousands of shekels. The proclamation said, "We beg you, soldiers of Israel, who took an oath on the bible at the Western Wall to be faithful to the Jewish people and the homeland, not to join forces with the enemy but to refuse to obey orders and help the people of Hebron so that they will not steal their property. "We remind the security forces of that wonderful event in which the parents of soldiers received NIS 1,000 for each night their children spent in jail for having refused orders to evict families in Hebron. Let us hope we won't have to do this again in the coming days, but if circumstances force us to, we will repeat the holy commandment with God's help." Wolpe is a highly controversial figure. During a speech before rabbis in Tel Aviv on January 2, he said Israeli government leaders should be hanged. "The terrible traitor, [Prime Minister] Ehud Olmert, who gives these Nazis weapons, who gives money, who frees their murderous terrorists, this man, like Ariel Sharon, collaborates with Nazis," he told a cheering audience opposed to territorial concessions. "Olmert's punishment, and the punishment of [Vice Premier] Haim Ramon and the punishment of [Foreign Minister] Tzipi Livni, and all these people, like [Defense Minister] Ehud Barak, should be to hang from the gallows," he said. Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz did not order the police to investigate him on suspicion of incitement for these comments.