Safed's chief rabbi: State should have hanged 10 sons of terrorist

Mercaz Harav attack224.8 (photo credit: AP)
Mercaz Harav attack224.8
(photo credit: AP)
Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliahu called on the state to use brute force as a deterrent to future terror attacks, following the shooting at the capital's Mercaz Harav Yeshiva three weeks ago that killed eight students. "A state that really respects the lives of its citizens would have hanged the 10 sons of the terrorist on a tree 50 amot [25 meters] tall, so that others would see it and be afraid," wrote Eliahu, referring figuratively to the Book of Esther's depiction of how the Jews of ancient Persia took revenge against Haman and his 10 sons. Eliahu's comments will appear this weekend in a Hebrew-language pamphlet called "Eretz Yisrael Shelanu" [The Land of Israel Belongs to Us] that is distributed in thousands of synagogues across the nation. "I am not talking about individuals," stipulated Eliahu. "I am talking about the State of Israel, which needs to make them hurt until they scream, 'Enough!' - until they lie sprawled on the ground groveling, 'Help us!'... "We have to exact a revenge that is so painful, it will burn into their souls the message of all our enemies that Jewish blood is more valuable than gold and platinum." Eliahu stressed that the aim of the revenge was solely to achieve deterrence. He added that the Torah's prohibitions against revenge referred solely to individuals, not to states. "On the national level, "revenge is necessary. Every state that is attacked takes revenge. The US, Russia, Turkey and India, all European states and even Third World countries take revenge. Does the entire world have it wrong and only the Israeli Left have it right? The Israeli Left is tired. It has lost its will to live. We have to remove those tired leftists from political leadership and send them to the old age home, and choose leaders who know true morality," Eliahu continued. Rabbi Gilad Kariv, legal adviser for the Reform Movement in Israel, said, "Jewish history is full of zealots whose zealotry has brought tragedies upon the nation while bringing about the moral corruption of the Jewish people. "Unlike deterrence, revenge should be shunned by Israel as a democratic country of law and order and as the state of the Jewish people. It is hoped that the Jewish people, enjoying a renaissance in its land, will have the sense to expel from its midst dangerous extremists like Rabbi Eliahu," he added. "Rabbi Eliahu's recent comments prove once again that the attorney-general made a big mistake when he decided to rescind an indictment against him for incitement to racism in exchange for a dubious retraction," Kariv said.