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Religious Hateful and Racist Speech in Israel

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  • |Lund University

Abstract

This essay is a study in politics and law. The first section of the paper explains Israel’s vulnerability as a Jewish, multicultural democracy in a hostile region, with significant schisms that divide the nation. Given Israel’s tenuous conditions, this paper is set to observe how Israel has coped with destabilizing expressions that aim to increase the rifts in society and to promote hatred against the other, whoever the other might be. This essay is largely concerned with Israel’s policy on hate speech and racial expressions as they have come into expression by religious authorities, and in that sense this study supplements similar studies conducted in the past. Those expressions have stemmed from the ideologically motivated religious authorities against two groups of people: those who aimed to give away parts of Israel’s territory, and Palestinian Arabs. The paper presents the State Attorney's stance regarding extreme statements made in the context of the disengagement from Gaza. Following that presentation, the paper continues by addressing the issue of religious incitement by Jewish and Moslem sages. What is suggested about fighting bigotry emanating from Jewish religious teaching is true also for hatred emanating from Islam. The argument is made that the State cannot sit idly by while senior officials incite racism and undermine the State’s democratic values. Such officials should be discharged of all responsibilities. The State ought to weigh the costs of allowing hate speech, as well as the risks involved, and balance these against the costs and risks to democracy and free speech associated with censorship. Israel needs to protect its citizens, both Jewish and non-Jewish, as well as to protect itself as a Jewish democracy. In doing so, Israel should not unnecessarily infringe on free expression or create discriminatory situations. It is not a small feat to achieve both. A balance needs to be struck between competing social interests. Freedom of expression is important as is the protection of vulnerable minorities.
SHOFAR 31.2 (2013): 95-117 | 95
Religious, Hateful, and Racist speecH in isRael
Raphael Cohen-Almagor
abstRact
This essay is a study in politics and law. It begins with an introductor y
background which explains Israel's vulnerability as a Jewish, multicul-
tural democracy in a hostile region, with signicant schisms that divide
the nation. In the next section I present the State Attorney's stance re-
garding extreme statements made in the context of the disengagement
from Gaza. I proceed by addressing the issue of religious incitement,
both Jewish and Moslem. I argue that the State cannot sit idly by while
senior ofcials incite racism and undermine its democratic values. Such
ofcials should be discharged of all responsibilities. The State ought to
weigh the costs of allowing hate speech as well as the risks involved, and
balance these against the costs and risks to democracy and free speech
associated with censorship.
intRoduction
This essay is a study in politics and law.1 The rst section of the paper ex-
plains Israel's vulnerability as a Jewish, multicultural democracy in a hos-
tile region, with signicant schisms that divide the nation. Given Israel's
tenuous conditions, this paper is set to observe how Israel has coped with
destabilizing expressions that aim to increase the rifts in society and to
promote hatred against the other, whoever the other might be. This essay
is largely concerned with Israel's policy on hate speech and racial expres-
sions as they have come into expression by religious authorities, and in that
sense this study supplements similar studies conducted in the past.2 Those
expressions have stemmed from the ideologically motivated religious au-
thorities against two groups of people: those who aimed to give away parts
of Israel's territory, and Palestinian Arabs.
The paper presents the State Attorney's stance regarding extreme
statements made in the context of the disengagement from Gaza. Following
that presentation, the paper continues by addressing the issue of religious
incitement by Jewish and Moslem sages. What is suggested about ghting
bigotry emanating from Jewish religious teaching is true also for hatred
emanating from Islam. The argument is made that the State cannot sit idly
96 | Raphael Cohen-Almagor
Shofar 31.2
by while senior ofcials incite racism and undermine the State's democratic
values. Such ofcials should be discharged of all responsibilities. The State
ought to weigh the costs of allowing hate speech, as well as the risks involved,
and balance these against the costs and risks to democracy and free speech
associated with censorship. Israel needs to protect its citizens, both Jewish
and non-Jewish, as well as to protect itself as a Jewish democracy. In doing
so, Israel should not unnecessarily infringe on free expression or create
discriminatory situations. It is not a small feat to achieve both. A balance
needs to be struck between competing social interests. Freedom of expres-
sion is important as is the protection of vulnerable minorities.
isRael's VulneRability
Israel is an immigrant country. After the Holocaust, many Jews and non-
Jews alike realized the need to establish a state for the Jewish people. Jews
from all corners of the world arrived in Israel and established their homes.
The bringing together of people from different cultures, traditions, ide-
ologies and worldviews is bound to create tensions, and Israel is saturated
with schisms, the major ones being between religious and secular Jews;3
between immigrants and Sabras (people who were born in Israel);4 and be-
tween Ashkenazim (generally speaking, people who came from Europe and
America) and Sepharadim (generally speaking, people who arrived from
Asia and Africa).5
Israel is a Jewish democracy. It is founded on halakah (Jewish law)
and on liberal principles. While some segments of Jewish orthodoxy believe
there is no room for secular freedom because all is dictated by the Almighty,
liberal ideology is based on the tenets of freedom, pluralism and tolerance.
The tension between the two basic foundations of Israel is momentous as
religion is brought to the fore in politics and in personal, sensitive issues:
birth, marriage, divorce, health, death, and burial
Moreover, Israel is surrounded by authoritarian Arab states. Conse-
quently, security considerations are very signicant for the State. Israel's
relationships with two of its neighbors, Egypt and Jordan, are complex. Al-
though it enjoys peace with both (with Egypt since 1979; with Jordan since
1994), the situation is a far cry from the peaceful relationships that exist
between countries in Europe. Recent events in the Middle East—the Arab
Spring in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt; the uprising in Syria; the tension with
Iran over its nuclear development, and the disquiet in Jordan, make the
situation more volatile and uncertain.
Religious, Hateful, and Racist Speech in Israel | 97
Winter 2013
Terrorism has been a continued and crucially important concern for
the State of Israel. Two of Israel's neighbors, Syria and Lebanon, have been
sources of terrorism and violence against Israel. Since Israel's evacuation of
the Gaza Strip in 2005, and the taking over of Gaza by Hamas in the 2006
elections, southern cities in Israel have been under constant barrages of
rockets launched by Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, and more recently elements
associated with the global jihad and al-Qaeda (such as Jaish al-Islam, Jund
Ansar Allah, al-Tawhid wal- Jihad and Ansar al-Sunna).6
To date, Israel has survived seven wars (the 1948 Independence War;
the 1956 Suez War; the 1967 Six Day War; the 1969-1970 War of Attrition;
the 1973 Yom Kippur War; the 1982 Lebanon War, and the 2006 Israel-He-
zbollah War) and two Palestinian uprisings, the Intifadas, the rst started
in 1987 and nished in 1993 when Israel signed the Oslo Accords; the sec-
ond started in 2000 and calmed after 2003 as a result of Israel erecting of
a fence to separate between its sovereign territory and the Palestinian West
Bank's towns and villages.
The victory of the 1967 Six Day War was a milestone in the history
of young Israel. The besieged nation had launched a surprise preemptive
attack that resulted in the expansion of its territory at the expense of the
neighboring countries.7 The occupation of Judea and Samaria (West Bank)
and Gaza, which inicts upon the Palestinians tremendous hardships and
undermines Israeli democracy, has created two other major schisms, one be-
tween Palestinians under the Palestinian Authority and Israeli-Jews, and the
other between the ideological right and the ideological left in Israel. While
the ideological right sees the occupation as necessary and believes in build-
ing and reinforcing settlements in Judea and Samaria, the ideological left
perceives the occupation as immoral, calls for Israel's withdrawal from the
occupied territories, the dismantling of settlements, and the establishment
of a Palestinian independent state alongside Israel. While the ideological
right believes that only the Jews have rightful claims on the biblical land,
the ideological left believes that both Jews and Palestinians have rightful
claims over the land, and thus the only viable solution is to split the land
between the two people.
Another major schism that exists today is between Israeli Jews and
Palestinian-Arabs inside the Green Line (the 1967 borders). Some twenty
percent of the Israeli population is made up of Palestinian Arabs.8 This is
a considerable minority that feels deprived, under-privileged and alienated
from the State and its symbols.
98 | Raphael Cohen-Almagor
Shofar 31.2
By and large the Palestinian Arabs do not endorse the raison d'être of
Israel as a Zionist Jewish democracy,9 and see themselves as discriminated
against in all spheres of life. Around 50 percent of the Arab population
lives in poverty. The poverty rate among Arab families has signicantly
increased since the 1990s, rising from 35 percent in 1990 to 45 percent in
2002. Indeed, Arabs have generally held the low-wage jobs in Israeli econ-
omy. On average, Arab men earn 60 percent of the national average wage,
while Arab women earn 70 percent of the average wage. Arabs own only 3.5
percent of Israel's lands. Arab citizens are discriminated in having access
to land, in land planning, in rural and urban development, and in housing
provisions. In addition, Arab municipalities are not allocated comparable
funding granted to Jewish municipalities.10
The combination of geographic circumstances, severe security
threats, and difcult social rifts yields a stressed and troubled society.
Nearly twenty percent of the population consists of immigrants from the
former Soviet Union where no democracy existed. Large segments within
Israeli society wish to transform democracy into a theocracy. Many preach
that there should be one state for all Jews and Palestinians on the west-
ern side of the Jordan River (that is, no independent State of Palestine in
the West Bank). This shows how vulnerable Israeli democracy is. Indeed,
repeated public polls have shown that some thirty percent of Israeli citi-
zenry wish to transform democracy into "a government based on strong
hand," limit free expression and freedom of the press so as to have "bet-
ter control."11
In a recent survey, only 44 percent said that if Jewish law and demo-
cratic values clashed, the latter should always be preferred, while 20 percent
said Jewish law should always be preferred and 36 percent said "sometimes
one and sometimes the other."12 In other words, the decline in attachment
to democratic values continues, and less than half of Israeli Jews think that,
in a clash between Jewish law and democracy, democratic values should
always prevail.
Freedom of expression is a major vehicle in democracies to promote
political ends. A ne line, however, distinguishes legitimate speech from
illegitimate speech. While advocacy and preaching are acceptable, incite-
ment to violence is not. The major thrust of this paper is to examine the
State Attorney's policy upon encountering a momentous event in Israeli
society, the evacuation of the Gaza Strip, and then to address both Jewish
and Muslim incitement by religious leaders.
Religious, Hateful, and Racist Speech in Israel | 99
Winter 2013
tHe disengagement fRom gaza and tHe state attoRney's
stance
In June 2003, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon delivered a pragmatic speech
concerning the need to evacuate all Israeli settlements inside the Gaza
Strip, and to withdraw the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) within Gaza to new
positions outside the Strip (the so-called "Gaza First Plan").13 In April 2004,
the Disengagement Plan was publicized. Until the plan was carried out in
August 2005, Israel witnessed what could be called an incitement campaign
against the prime minister, including voices justifying political assassination.
In 2005, at the onset of Prime Minister Sharon's Disengagement Plan
and as considerable opposition public protest was crystallizing, deliberations
were held in the ofces of the Legal Advisor to the Government14 and the
State Attorney concerning the question: "What path will the law enforce-
ment system take in relation to free speech issues?" Should the route of
strict enforcement be taken, in which no offense would go unpunished, or
should the State advocate tolerance, seeing all speech as worthy of protec-
tion, and every protest legitimate, given the weight of the historical event
and the sincere pain of the settlers?
The basic assumption in the deliberations was that the prosecution
had enough evidence to open an investigation, that is, there was reason-
able suspicion that some of the speech was in violation of law, like sedition
under Section 133 of the Penal Law, or incitement to disobedience under
Section 110 of the Penal Law.15 The question was whether the Govern ment
wanted to open an investigation upon receiving complaints initiated by a
citizen or by the police. 16 Eran Shendar, who headed the ofce of the pros-
ecution, explained that he had to pit the need for a moral ruling regard-
ing the resulting benet for the social framework by prosecuting speech
transgressions against the resulting harm from that potential prosecution.17
This calculation of pros and cons tried to assess the necessity of pre-
emptive acts that excluded free expression. This task, of course, was not easy.
Free speech, or more accurately the freedom to protest, was perceived as
a basic right, and much concern was given to the issue of trust: preserving
the people's trust, including those associated with the hard-core settlers,
in the law enforcement system.18
This was of paramount importance as the disengagement from Gaza
was a media event,19 attracting extensive attention of national and interna-
tional media organizations. The media relentlessly covered every possible
aspect of this painful chapter in the life of Israel. This excessive coverage
100 | Raphael Cohen-Almagor
Shofar 31.2
did not serve as a tranquilizer; quite the opposite was true. In such a heated
atmosphere, caution was the order of the hour.
The State Attorney decided to take two different paths regarding free
expression and free behavior. On free expression, the limits of tolerance
and restraint were stretched, due to a conscious decision to not investigate
or prosecute speeches even on the verge of legality. The Legal Advisor to
the Government, Menachem (Menny) Mazuz, explained that the existence
of broad limits of protest was of utmost importance: it is better to allow op-
position feelings of anger and frustration than to face violent underground
movements.20
On the other hand, as for freedom of action, there was little tolerance
regarding roadblocks or other violent acts of protest. At the core of the
thinking was the belief that the public interest necessitated this dual policy:
providing leeway for legitimate protest and allowing the venting of anger,
frustration, and rage and, at the same time, taking a rm stand against
breaches of law aimed at the creation of lawlessness and violent thwarting
of legislative decisions.21
JewisH Religious incitement
One of society's most problematic forms of expression is one that calls for
violence against a specic group of people, one that enjoys public respect-
ability, as well as some kind of religious legitimacy. Some rabbis speak as
authentic representatives of halakah and exploit their knowledge and posi-
tion to promote their particular interpretation of scripture that coincides
with their ideological worldview.
Many rabbis in Israel involve themselves in politics, often in protests
against attempts to give away what they perceive as "holy territories" of Eretz
Israel. These rabbis say that they represent their respective communities; in
many cases they are public ofcials who are paid by the government. They
abuse the position conferred on them by the State to attack Israel and to
undermine its policies. Some of those rabbis do not shy away from preach-
ing hatred and violence against Arabs.
A recent study of complaints against rabbinic incitement between 2002
and 2011 showed that of 48 complaints, police investigations were opened
in only 18 cases (37.5 percent of the total). Of the 18 cases, 4 were closed;
investigations of 6 cases slowly continue (they were opened in 2008), and
the result of 3 cases is unclear. In all likelihood, the cases that were closed
may have been closed due to the lengthy period of time that elapsed since
Religious, Hateful, and Racist Speech in Israel | 101
Winter 2013
they were opened. Only in 5 cases (27.77 percent) were individuals brought
to criminal trial. Of these, 4 cases were settled when the rabbis apologized
for their rabbinic incitement.
In one case, two rabbis admitted publicly saying that the Arabs were a
"donkey nation," a menace, a bad Satan, an inferior nation.22 The two rab-
bis, Yitzhak and David Bazri, rhetorically asked their audience: why didn't
God created Arabs on four, like donkeys? "Because they need to build and
clean. But they must understand that they are donkeys" and inferior. They
are wicked and brutal. They have snake lth. They are deled.23 The two
rabbis received lenient sentences: Yitzhak Bazri's punishment was 140 hours
of community service and his pledge not to incite racism. David Bazri was
asked to make the same commitment and to issue a public statement that
he objected to racism, that he did not mean to offend anyone and, while
he was concerned about assimilation, that he was called to make peace and
to promote human brotherhood.24
The most well-known case in which a notable rabbi stood trial and
was convicted concerned Rabbi Ido Elba, rabbi of the Cave of Machpellah
Yeshiva in Hebron. This case is an important precedent, so some explana-
tion of the context and the ruling is important. In April 1995, Rabbi Elba
was charged and convicted by the Jerusalem District Court on ve differ-
ent counts: rst, the publication of a pamphlet entitled "An Examination
of Religious Directives (Halachot) Concerning the Killing of Gentiles"; sec-
ond, attempts to produce weapons; third and fourth, trying to persuade an
ofcer of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to steal weapons and explosives
for him, and also to disclose the location of IDF bases which he could pen-
etrate and from which he could steal ammunition; and fth, nally, with
trying to obstruct and disrupt legal proceedings. Rabbi Elba was sentenced
to two years' imprison ment and to conditional imprisonment of two addi-
tional years for a period of three years.25
Rabbi Elba appealed to the Supreme Court, but the Court afrmed
the conviction in a 5 to 2 decision. The two dissenting Justices, Zvi Tal and
Yaakov Tirkul, accepted the conviction for four of the charges but objected
to the conviction on the rst charge, the subject of our discussion here, that
the publication constituted "incitement." Speaking for the majority of the
Court, Justice Mazza argued that the pamphlet constituted incitement to
racism under Section 144B of the Penal Law, and that it also encouraged
violence against Arabs in violation of Section 4 of the Prevention of Ter-
rorism Ordinance.26
102 | Raphael Cohen-Almagor
Shofar 31.2
Justice Mazza elaborated on the content of Rabbi Elba's writing. Cen-
tral to the publication were halakic justications for the killing of non-Jews.
The publication explicitly stated that the prohibition on murder does not
include instances in which a Jew kills a non-Jew. Rabbi Elba's pamphlet
further postulated that it is a mitzvah, a command from the Torah, to kill
gentiles who believe in other religions that deny the basic beliefs of Israel
and the eternity of the Torah; that during periods of war "it is a mitzvah
to kill every gentile rival, even women and children"; that it is permissible
to launch an attack against gentiles in order to kill them if suspicion exists
that these gentiles might attack Jews in the future, and that it is obligatory
to attack gentiles whose aim is to make Jews abandon their settlements.27
Justice Mazza explained that a publication would be considered a rac-
ist incitement "if the publisher was aware of the nature of the publication,
the given circumstances, and the probability of causing racist incitement,"
and if his intention was to incite racism or at least if he or she foresaw the
probability that the publication would incite racism.28 In Justice Mazza's
opinion, the so-called academic and theoretical framework of the publica-
tion was only a façade.29
Context is important. In the case at hand, we cannot ignore the fact
that Rabbi Elba chose to circulate his publication among the yeshiva stu-
dents of the Cave of Machpellah two months after Baruch Goldstein's mas-
sacre at that same place.30 In addition, the other charges against Rabbi Elba,
which included attempts at manufacturing and stealing ammunition and
weapons, proved that his intentions were more than purely theoretical.
In sustaining Rabbi Elba's conviction under Section 4 of the Preven-
tion of Terrorism Ordinance, Justice Mazza explained that a publisher would
be found guilty in violation of the Ordinance if his publication might lead
to provocation to violence. Justice Mazza further claried that the Ordi-
nance prohibited such publications, even if behind the publications stood
one person, or members of a group, who did not identify themselves as
members of a terrorist organization. The prohibition on such publications
was derivative from the terrorist nature of the violent conduct, and not from
the publisher's afliation to a terrorist organization.31
It is interesting that Justice Mazza conclusively argued that of the ve
charges against Rabbi Elba, the rst—racist incitement—was the most se-
vere.32 Justice Mazza explained that Rabbi Elba's publication offended ba-
sic values of the State: the equality of a person and his right to defend his
life, body, and dignity. Racist incitement hurt the character of the State of
Religious, Hateful, and Racist Speech in Israel | 103
Winter 2013
Israel as a Jewish democratic state. Justice Mazza maintained that the State
of Israel "could not afford, nor could it permit, for the sake of its integrity
and future, to treat the foul phenomenon of racist incitement mercifully."33
Since the Elba conviction, the Legal Advisor to the Government has
usually refrained from prosecuting rabbis for incitement to racism, although
there has been no shortage of such cases. State Attorney Shendar summa-
rized the reasoning for this restraint: the feeling was that prosecuting rab-
bis might kindle resentment and outrage against the government, and in
order to maintain peace among the radical Jewish sectors of society, it was
prudent not to rush to the courts. Others have argued that it is not clear
that this was a "prudent" policy at all.
First of all, this policy showed that there was one law for all Israeli citi-
zens, and another for the rabbis. Second, it did not deter the rabbis from
continuing their involvement in incitement. Third, it thus undermined
law and order. Fourth, it projected a negative message to the Israeli Arab
population, that the State does not care for them and is willing to leave
them to be victimized and targeted by respected spiritual leaders. Last, this
message is most troubling as many of those rabbis are paid by the State. It
is especially problematic that a public ofcial would abuse the status and
authority conferred on him by the State to harm civilians merely because
of their national association. The Arab Israelis could infer that the State of
Israel stands behind the incitement against them.
In this context it should be noted that the Arab Israelis already have
justied grievances against the Ministry of Justice. In October 2000, thirteen
Arabs—all but one citizens of Israel—were shot to death by Israeli security
forces. The Or Commission, established to investigate these incidents and the
behavior of the security forces involved, recommended that the Police Inves-
tigations Department probe all the events in which citizens were killed, and
that some of those involved should be brought to trial. The Commission said
that the State of Israel did not do enough or try hard enough to create equality
for its Arab citizens or to uproot discriminatory or unjust phenomenon. The
Commission also called upon the police to take action to eradicate hostility
toward Arab citizens. It highlighted the importance of uprooting prejudice
against the Arab sector, found even among veteran and well-respected po-
lice ofcers, stating that police ofcers must internalize the understanding
that the Arab public is not their enemy, and should not be treated as such.34
Despite the harsh criticism of the Or Commission, not a single indict-
ment was led against any of the police ofcers involved in the killing of
104 | Raphael Cohen-Almagor
Shofar 31.2
citizens during the October events. Since those events in October 2000, 34
more Arab citizens have been killed by security forces, most recently Sabri
El Jarajawi, who died of his wounds in July 2008 after being beaten by po-
lice. In most cases, no charges at all, or very lenient ones, were led, even
though people were killed. The police ofcers involved were not dismissed,
and continue to serve in the same positions.35
The restraint policy regarding inciting rabbis was sustained up un-
til 2006. Then the Legal Advisor to the Government, Menachem Mazuz,
ordered pressing charges against Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, Chief Rabbi of
the city of Safed. In 2004, Rabbi Eliyahu gave a radio interview in which
he called on homeowners to neither rent their homes nor sell their homes
to Arabs.36 Furthermore, Eliyahu published statements on the internet site
Moriah, which posts responsa by well-known rabbis, saying that the members
of the Jewish terror underground that was operating during the 1980s and
that had killed Arabs were "completely righteous."37 He also said, "I don't
think they are lowly murderers. Heaven forbid! They have already paid their
price to society. They sacriced many years for the people of Israel. Among
us, in Judaism, there is justiable murder. Killing a murderer is justied."38
Legal advisor to the Government Mazuz said he would be issuing an
indictment against Eliyahu following a hearing, but a nal decision to do
so was not made. Rabbi Eliyahu made a plea bargain with the state to avoid
trial on incitement to racism charges, and promised to make a public an-
nouncement refuting a number of previous slanderous statements made
against Israeli Arabs. The aim of the plea bargain was said to be to improve
relations instead of carrying out a criminal trial which would have polar-
ized the two sides.39
Such plea bargains do not appear to be effective deterrents, and Rabbi
Eliyahu had no reason to change his views. If anything, he appeared to
harden them. In 2008, Rabbi Eliyahu called on the government to carry
out "state-sanctioned revenge" against Arabs in order to, in his words, "re-
store Israel's deterrence." In a piece for the weekend edition of a newsletter
called "Eretz Yisrael Shelanu" ("Our Eretz Israel"), Rabbi Eliyahu wrote: "It's
time to call the child by its name: Revenge, revenge, revenge. We mustn't
forget. We have to take horrible revenge for the Arab terrorist attack on
Mercaz Harav Yeshiva," referring to the incident in which eight students were
killed in June 2008.40 "I'm not talking about individual people in particular,
I'm talking about the state," Eliyahu wrote. Israel has "to pain them to the
point where they scream 'Enough,' to the point where they fall at on their
Religious, Hateful, and Racist Speech in Israel | 105
Winter 2013
face and scream 'help.' Not for the sake of satisfying the need for revenge
but for the purposes of deterrence."41
In the newsletter that was distributed to synagogues around the coun-
try, Eliyahu proposed "hanging the children of the terrorist who carried out
the attack in the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva from a tree."42 The rabbi explained:
"We'll stay here. We need to live with those who understand very well the
language of revenge."43 Eliyahu added that he
already sees all the bleeding hearts clicking their tongues, moving
uncomfortably in their chairs, contorting their faces at this display
of "depravity" and beginning to spout their slogans. "Barbaric."
"Amoral." "Inciter" and the rest of the usual words that are fre-
quently blurted out from their mouths. Don't pay them any mind.
With their way of doing things, there won't be a state here in another
30 years. They've already taken the trouble to arrange foreign pass-
ports for their children. We'll stay here. We need to live with those
who understand very well the language of revenge.44
These words were allowed to be uttered in Israel without any sanctions. The
State's prosecution decided not to press charges.45
In December 2010, dozens of city rabbis signed a halakic decree that
prohibited renting apartments to Arabs, showing their support of Rabbi
Eliyahu and putting the legal authorities in a difcult situation. If so many
rabbis signed such a document, one might deduce that this is a principled
halakic issue, and the Legal Advisor to the Government would need to
think carefully before authorizing criminal investigations against all the
distinguished rabbis. Among the signatories were Rabbi of Ashdod Yo-
seph Sheinin, Rabbi Moshe Hevlin of Kiryat Gat, Rabbi David Walfa of
Rishon LeZion, Rabbi Avraham Margalit of Carmiel, Rabbi Zion Zuberi
of Gedera, Rabbi Shmuel David of Afula, Rabbi Simcha HaCohen Kook of
Rehovoth, Rabbi Azarya Basis of Rosh Ah'ayin, Rabbi Yitzhak Yaakobovitz
of Herzliya, Rabbi Yeshayahu Matlis of Nahariya, Rabbi Yeshayahu Herzl
of Nazareth Elit, Rabbi David Zdaka of Pardes Hana, and Rabbi Amram
Ohayon of Ofakim.46
The State cannot sit idly by while senior ofcials—in this case public
rabbis—incite racism and undermine the State's democratic values. Such
ofcials need to decide: either they are public servants who adhere to the
laws and values of the state that employs them, or they do not share the
values of the State and will incite hate and violence. If they chose the lat-
ter, they should resign immediately. And if they do not see the necessity in
106 | Raphael Cohen-Almagor
Shofar 31.2
doing so, then the State should discharge them from all public responsi-
bilities. This is true for all rabbinical authorities and more so for popular
public gures with a large crowd of adherents like Rabbi Eliyahu. Calls to
the public to torture and take revenge against Arabs constitute incitement
to racism and violence, and the justice system should act and crack down
on the phenomena that might lead to violence. Rabbi Eliyahu's rulings, im-
mediately after a terror attack when they are said to be based on Jewish law,
might be perceived as important directives. They might pose a real danger
to the well-being of the public population in Israel.
Free expression is not a recipe for lawlessness. The balance between
free speech and protecting the Arab minority should not, on such matters,
lean to the former. Israel as a Jewish state has an obligation to secure the
well being of its vulnerable minority.
The Eliyahu saga continues at the time of this writing. In November
of 2011, Legal Advisor to the Government Yehuda Weinstein ordered the
opening of a criminal investigation against Rabbi Eliyahu as he continues
with his racist and inammatory diatribes against Arabs.47 I will be surprised
if Rabbi Eliyahu will be severely punished this time.
muslim Religious incitement
In 2007, the prosecution ordered the police to open criminal investigation
against the leader of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, Sheik
Ra'ad Salah, for allegedly inciting violence and racism, and for sedition un-
der Section 133 of the Penal Law. In a ery speech on February 16, 2007 at
a protest in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz, Salah accused
Jews of using children's blood to bake bread: "We have never allowed our-
selves to knead [the dough for] the bread that breaks the fast in the holy
month of Ramadan with children's blood," he said. "Whoever wants a more
thorough explanation, let him ask what used to happen to some children
in Europe, whose blood was mixed in with the dough of the [Jewish] holy
bread." "Great God, is this a religion?" he asked. "Is this what God would
want? God will deal with you yet for what you are doing."48
The rally was called to protest the planned Mughrabi bridge con-
struction in Jerusalem's Old City. Addressing the 1,000-strong crowd and
assembled press, Salah accused Israel of attempting to rebuild the Jewish
Temple on the Temple Mount49 while drenched in Arab blood: "Whoever
wants to build a house of God should not do so while our blood is still on
his clothes, on his doorposts, in his food, in his drink, being passed along
Religious, Hateful, and Racist Speech in Israel | 107
Winter 2013
from one terrorist general to the next terrorist general," he said. "You are
inciting against us, do not let the ranks on your shoulders tempt you," he
continued. "These ranks and stars on your shoulders were made from the
skulls of our martyrs. They are ranks of shame, not ranks of splendor. These
are ranks of disgrace, not ranks of honor."50
Following the speech and Friday prayers, the crowd began rioting
and throwing stones at police. According to the prosecution, Salah's speech
constituted a "call to commit acts of violence and encouragement of acts of
violence, which given the content and context, there was a real possibility
that it could lead to acts of violence."51 The prosecution said Salah made
the remarks "with the objective of inciting racism."52 In an interview with
Ashams radio, Salah said in response that, "I am willing to repeat before
the court all the things I said at the Friday sermon in Wadi Joz or any other
meeting with journalists. . . . Our statements are the products of convic-
tion, and I will not recant."53
Two repeated themes in Salah's preaching are the need for violence
against the Jews and the establishment of the rule of Islam in the region.
He said that soon Islam would rule the entire Middle East,54 that Jerusa-
lem would soon become the capital of an Islamic nation, and that Israel's
occupation of the Temple Mount was nearing its end. He explained that
the comatose former prime minister Ariel Sharon and President Moshe
Katsav, who was convicted for alleged sex crimes, were "paying the price"
for damaging Jerusalem's al-Aqsa Mosque. On the issue of IDF soldier Gi-
lad Shalit, who was abducted in June 2006 and was still held hostage at the
time by Hamas in Gaza,55 Salah urged Hamas not to agree to a prisoner
exchange with the Israeli government which would not include the release
of jailed Israeli Arabs.56
Like Ido Elba, Salah's extremism was not manifested only in words but
also in deeds. In 2005 Salah was released from prison after serving some
two years for having contact with a foreign agent, as well as for nancial
crimes related to the Islamic Movement.57
The State Prosecution drafted an indictment against Salah on charges
of incitement and sedition. This was after a six-month investigation into
his activities.58 Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said that Israel would never do
anything to harm freedom of worship for all religions in Jerusalem, and
that certain groups were using excavations near the Temple Mount for their
own political gain. "The Temple Mount is the site most holy to the Jewish
people," said Livni. "The State of Israel will never to anything to harm the
108 | Raphael Cohen-Almagor
Shofar 31.2
freedom of worship of members of all religions—in Jerusalem or anywhere
in Israel."59 Livni maintained: "There are irresponsible elements, who know
full well that no harm is being caused here to any holy site, who are exploit-
ing Israeli democracy to fan religious feelings for political gain. . . . This is
true of both political groups within Israel and extremist elements outside Is-
rael."60 The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court issued a ruling prohibiting Sheikh
Ra'ad Salah from approaching Jerusalem's Old City for ten days. Police de-
cided to restrict access to the Temple Mount and deployed security forces
throughout the Old City of Jerusalem, fearing that violent protest, speci-
cally by members of the Islamic Movement, might break out in the city.61
Sheik Salah called for another intifada (uprising), saying "we request
from every Muslim, for every Arab: Now it is your duty to help the Palestin-
ian people to implement a third intifada. The most beautiful moments of
our fate are meeting God as Shahids [martyrs] in the Al-Aqsa Mosque."62
Salah maintained that the Al Aqsa Mosque would be freed with blood. These
words provoked and stirred the Arab audience to violence63 and thus can-
not enjoy the protection of the free speech principle. Indeed, incitement
is a form of speech-act, in which there is little time to react and prevent
harm being done. Even in the most liberal eyes, incitement should not be
a protected form of speech.
In 2010, Imam Nazim Abu Salim (also known as Abu Osama al-Nas-
seri), the head of the Shihab A-Din Mosque, a prominent Muslim center
in Nazareth, stood trial for incitement to violence and terrorism, forming
an illegal organization, conspiring to commit a crime, and supporting a
terror organization.64 According to the indictment, Abu Salim established
a group called Jamaat al-Nasrallah Bayt al-Maqdis al-Nasra, which endorsed
al-Qaeda and celebrated bin Laden as "Loved by G-d." In his frequent ser-
mons and many publications—posters, booklets, manifestos, and a website,
Muslim 48 —Abu Salim preached global jihad and called for attacks against
Jews and Christians. Abu Salim's position in his community, his charisma,
the wide distribution of his violent worldview, the circumstances in which
he urged violence, and the radical, turbulent atmosphere of the time cre-
ated a real possibility for violent ideas to be translated into violent actions.
Some of the mosque's worshippers adopted the global jihad ideology
and conspired to kill Jews. Their victim was a Jewish taxi driver, 54-year-old
Yem Weinstein.65 Three of them were charged with murder, conspiracy to
commit murder, assault, Molotov cocktail attacks, weapons manufacturing,
and arms trade, as well as a host of other criminal offences, including kid-
Religious, Hateful, and Racist Speech in Israel | 109
Winter 2013
napping and armed robbery.66 One of the murderers, Haider Ziadana, said
that he used to frequent Abu Salim's mosque and he came to believe non-
Muslims should be targeted. Abu Salim's open support of the sala jihadi
creed led to a growing interest and radicalization of young worshippers.
The indictment further held that other worshippers collected weapons to
be used against Israeli soldiers as well as against Pope Benedict XVI, who
visited Israel in May 2009. Two of the men confessed that they tried to join
jihadi terrorist organizations. Abu-Salim is also believed to have inspired
the kidnapping of a Jewish pizza deliverer in Nazareth, and the burning
of a Christian tour bus in the city.67 Abu Salim believes there is one harsh
fate for all indels, and Allah welcomes believers who act to see that that
fate will be met.
Judge Lily Yong-Gefer wrote in her verdict that Abu-Salim mapped
his potential audience, looking for the people who would adopt his incite-
ment and act upon it. He carried out his incitement for a long time, and
saw that his words led to harmful action. Thus, his words did not remain in
the realm of free expression. They led to murder. Thus Abu Salim's penalty
should be grave, reecting the severity of his conduct. Judge Yong-Gefer's
verdict was three-year imprisonment and, in addition, Abu Salim was sen-
tenced to 18-month conditional imprisonment for a three-year period.68
What I have said about Jewish religious authorities is true for Arab
religious authorities. Both should carefully consider the consequences of
their preaching and be accountable for their teachings. Surely they can-
not be paid by the State and, at the same time, undermine its democratic
institutions.
concluding comments
Religion is a powerful driver of continuity and change. Religion brings
people together, provides purpose in life, and offers guidance for the be-
liever. Religion can be a constructive force but unfortunately it can also be
destructive. It can evoke compassion and care but it can also be utilized
to promote hostility and hate. Both Judaism and Islam are open to vastly
contrasting interpretations. Both contain messages for everyone, for the
kindheartedpeace lover as well as for the hate monger.
In a perfect world we would respond to racism and hateful messages
with education, not criminal laws. But our world is not perfect, and history
shows that bigotry and hate speech might lead to horrible crimes. There-
fore, legal intervention may be warranted to ght racism and incitement.
110 | Raphael Cohen-Almagor
Shofar 31.2
Context and political culture are of importance, too. What may be tolerable
in one country might not be tolerable or tolerated in another. The State of
Israel, for all the reasons outlined at the outset of this article, cannot afford
to exercise the same scope and latitude for free expression as the United
States does. In some circumstances, law has to aid in the battle against big-
otry, hate, and racism. Education and the gradual evolution of cultural and
social norms simply do not sufce.
Education alone will not convince radical leaders to change their
ways. Religious gures of the likes of Rabbi Eliyahu will not become more
tolerant by means of persuasion or arguments based upon a search for
truth and the free marketplace of ideas. They believe they know the truth
and are not open to changing their ideas. They despise tolerance as it is
"weak" and absolutely useless; tolerance helps "the enemy." In a heated and
violent atmosphere, government responsibility calls for state intervention
to mitigate tensions before they erupt and cause tangible harm on vulner-
able individuals. It is the State's duty.
Being a public gure carries with it great responsibility. Religious
authorities should exercise their right to freedom of expression carefully
and with prudence, far more carefully than ordinary people, because their
words might sway people to action. We can expect of them to weigh the
consequences of their conduct and to take responsibility for their words
and actions. As Max Weber wrote, "the world as a creation of god, whose
power comes to expression in it despite its creatureliness, provides the only
medium through which one's unique religious charisma must prove itself
by means of rational ethical action, so that one may become and remain
certain of one's own state of grace."69
notes
1. I thank Eran Shendar, Elie Rubinstein, Noam Guttman, and Gabi Bach
for providing me with pertinent material. I am also grateful to the Shofar editors
for their constructive comments.
2. Raphael Cohen-Almagor, The Boundaries of Liberty and Tolerance (Gaines-
ville, FL: The University Press of Florida, 1994); "Administrative Detention in Is-
rael and its Employment as a Means of Combating Political Extremism," New York
International Law Review 9, no. 2 (1996): 1-25; "Disqualication of Political Par-
ties in Israel: 1988-1996," Emory International Law Review 11, no. 1 (1997): 67-109;
"Combating Right-Wing Political Extremism in Israel: Critical Appraisal," Terrorism
and Political Violence 9, no. 4 (1997): 82-105; "Political Extremism and Incitement
in Israel 1993-1995, 2003-2005: A Study of Dangerous Expressions," Democracy and
Security 3, no. 1 (2007): 21-43.
Religious, Hateful, and Racist Speech in Israel | 111
Winter 2013
3. Itamar Warhaftig, ed., Constitution and Law in a Jewish State According the
Halakhah (Jerusalem: Mosad ha-Rav Kook, 1989, Hebrew); Baruch Kimmerling,
ed., The Israeli State and Society: Boundary and Frontier (Albany: SUNY, 1989); Yehudah
Shaviv, ed., At the Crossroads of Torah and State (Alon Shevut: Zomet Institute, 1991,
Hebrew); Shlomo Goren, The Torah Law of the State (Jerusalem: Ha-Idra Rabbah,
1996, Hebrew); Ze'ev Safrai and Avi Sagi, eds., Between Authority and Autonomy in
the Tradition of Israel (Tel-Aviv: Ha-Kibbutz ha-Me'uhad, 1997, Hebrew); Raphael
Cohen-Almagor, "Israeli Democracy, Religion and the Practice of Halizah in Jewish
Law," UCLA Women's Law Journal 11, no. 1 (2000): 45-65; Raphael Cohen-Almagor,
ed., Israeli Democracy at the Crossroads (London: Routledge, 2005); Ruth Gavison
and Ya'akov Medan, The Fundamentals of a New Covenant Between the Observant and
the Secularists in Israel (Jerusalem: Israel Democracy Institute, 2003, Hebrew).
4. Yossi Yonah, "Israel as a Multicultural Democracy: Challenges and Ob-
stacles," and Tamar Horowitz, "The Integration of Immigrants from the Former
Soviet Union," in Raphael Cohen-Almagor, ed., Israeli Democracy at the Crossroads,
95-136.
5. Eliezer Ben-Rafael, "Israel: From Pluralism to Multiculturalism," Social
Issues in Israel 6 (2008): 94-120 (Hebrew); E. Ben-Rafael and S. Sharot, Ethnicity,
Religion and Class in Israel (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007); Raphael
Cohen-Almagor, "Cultural Pluralism and the Israeli Nation-Building Ideology,"
International Journal of Middle East Studies 27 (1995): 461-84.
6. http://almagor.blogspot.com/ (November 2008); Michael Herzog, "Pow-
der Keg in Gaza," The Jerusalem Post, November 8, 2012, http://www.jpost.com/
Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=291005.
7. Richard B. Parker, The Six-Day War: A Retrospective (Gainesville, FL: Uni-
versity Press of Florida, 1996); Michael B. Oren, Six Days of War: June 1967 and the
Making of the Modern Middle East (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002); Tom
Segev, 1967: Israel, the War, and the Year that Transformed the Middle East (New York:
Metropolitan Books, 2007); Yaacoov Roi and Boris Morozov, eds., The Soviet Union
and the June 1967 Six-Day War (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson International
Center for Scholars, 2008); Ahron Bregman, Israel's Wars (London: Routledge,
2010); Raphael Cohen-Almagor, "The Six Day War—Interviews with Minister Ezer
Weitzman and Abba Eban MK, Lessons and Insights," Social Issues in Israel 6 (2008):
172-213 (Hebrew).
8. CBS, Statistical Abstract of Israel 2011, http://www.cbs.gov.il/shnaton62/
st02_01.pdf.
9. Sami Smooha, "Minority Status in an Ethnic Democracy: The Status of the
Arab Minority in Israel," Ethnic and Racial Studies 13, no. 3 (1990): 389-417; Majid
Al-Haj, "Whither the Green Line? Trends in the Orientation of the Palestinians in
Israel and the Territories," and Hillel Frisch, "Israel and Its Arab Citizens," in Ra-
phael Cohen-Almagor, ed., Israeli Democracy at the Crossroads, 183-222; Elie Rekhess,
The Arab Minority in Israel: An Analysis of the "Future Vision" Documents (New York:
American Jewish Committee, April 2008).
10. Ilan Peleg and Dov Waxman, Israel's Palestinians (NY: Cambridge Univer-
sity Press, 2011), 32-44. See also Gregory S. Mahler, Politics and Government in Israel
112 | Raphael Cohen-Almagor
Shofar 31.2
(Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littleeld, 2011), 237-65; and Mati Steniberg and Efraim
Lavie articles in The Inuence of the Establishment of A Palestinian State on Israeli Arabs
(S. Daniel Abraham Center for Strategic Dialogue, Netanya Academic College,
2011, Hebrew).
11. In 1994, a poll showed that 30% of Israeli youth supported illegal organi-
zations designed to revenge Arabs, 27% opined that Israeli democracy should be
restricted, and 28% supported a strong regime independent of political parties.
See "25% of Youth up to 18 Year-Old Have Anti-Democratic Worldview," Yedioth
Ahronoth, September 19, 1984, 1. In 1985, 50% of Israeli youth supported the de-
nial of basic civil rights from Israeli Arabs. See Yisrael Tomer, "Poll Reveals: 50%
of High School Students Support Denial of Arab Rights," Yedioth Ahronoth, March
20, 1985, 4. A 1990 poll showed that 45% of Israeli citizens were willing to forego
democracy. See Yitzhak Ben-Horin, "Democracy Goes Bust," Maariv, February 10,
1990, Shabbat Supplement. Another poll from the same year revealed that 51%
of the youth supported the transfer of Palestinians from the occupied territories,
while 45% opined that dictatorship is good for Israel. See Yaron London, "Half of
Youth Support 'Transfer,'" Yedioth Ahronoth, May 29, 1990, Shavuut Supplement, 2.
A 1997 poll among youth showed that more than 60% thought that "Israeli Arabs
do not deserve equal rights." Another poll from May that year showed that only
9% of Israeli youth said that they do not hate Arabs. A 1986 poll revealed that a
third of the youth was willing to undermine democracy in order to narrow Israeli
Arabs' rights. A 1994 poll showed that 60% of high school students supported de-
mocracy while 40% preferred a stricter regime. See Tzachi Cohen, "Is Israeli Youth
Racist?," Yedioth Ahronoth, July 23, 1997, 14-15.
12. Asher Arian et al., A Portrait of Israeli Jews—Beliefs, Observance, and Values of
Israeli Jews 2009, The Guttman Center Surveys (Jerusalem: The Israel Democracy
Institute and The AVI CHAI Israel Foundation, 2012, Hebrew).
13. See Raphael Cohen-Almagor, "The Best First Step," The Baltimore Sun, De-
cember 18, 2003.
14. The responsibilities of the Legal Advisor to the Government are broader
than those of the American Attorney General. Therefore I prefer to use the long
title. For deliberation of his responsibilities, see Elyakim Rubinstein, "The Attorney
General in Israel: A Delicate Balance of Powers and Responsibilities in a Jewish
and Democratic State," in Israeli Institutions at the Crossroads,ed. Raphael Cohen-
Almagor (London: Routledge, 2005), 143-59.
15. Section 110 of the Penal Law, incitement to disobedience, states: If a per-
son incited or induced a person who serves in an armed force to disobey a lawful
order, then he is liable to one year imprisonment; if thereby he intended to injure
national security, then he is liable to ve years imprisonment; if the offense was
committed when armed hostilities are in progress by or against Israel, then he is
liable to seven years imprisonment. See Penal Law, 5737-1977 (Aryeh Greeneld,
A. G. Publications, March 2005).
16. Eran Shendar, "Law Enforcement, Freedom of Expression, and its Place in
the Realm of Ideological Crimes during the Disengagement Period," in Freedom
of Speech In Light of Prime Minister Sharon's Disengagement Plan (Gaza First
Religious, Hateful, and Racist Speech in Israel | 113
Winter 2013
Plan), University of Haifa, December 20, 2005, Hebrew, http://cds.haifa.ac.il/
documents/pastconferences/freedom_of_speech_shendar.pdf.
17. Criminal File 935/89, Uri Ganor v. the Government's Legal Advisor, P.D. 44
(2), 485, 508-09, Hebrew.
18. Eran Shendar, "Law Enforcement."
19. On the concept of media events, see Daniel Dayan and Elihu Katz, Media
Events (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992).
20. Manny Mazuz, "The Democratic Test," Maariv, August 17, 2005, Hebrew.
21. Eran Shendar, "Law Enforcement." For further discussion, see Elyakim
Rubinstein, "On Freedom of Expression and the Prosecution Policy Regarding
Incitement to Violence," HaPraklit 44, no.1 (1998): 5-10 (Hebrew); Gabriel Bach,
"Public Trial: The Limits of Political Expression," Mechkarei Mishpat 19 (2002):
363-79 (Hebrew); Raphael Cohen-Almagor, "Political Extremism and Incitement
in Israel 1993-1995, 2003-2005: A Study of Dangerous Expressions," Democracy and
Security 3, no. 1 (2007): 21-43.
22. Einat Horowitz et al., "Love Him As Yourself?" Racism in the Name of Halacha
(Jerusalem: The Reform Center for Religion and State, November 2011, Hebrew),
21.
23. Ibid.
24. Yaara Maitlis, "Settlement Signed with Rabbis Bazri," Arutz 7, November
6, 2008 (Hebrew).
25. Criminal File 251/94. State of Israel v. Ido Elba (Jerusalem District Court),
verdict rendered on April 13, 1995 (Hebrew). See http://info.oranim.ac.il/home/
home.exe/646/663 (Hebrew); http://hayamin.org/forum/index.php?topic=923.0
(Hebrew).
26. Criminal Appeal 2831/95. Rabbi Ido Elba v. State of Israel, September 24,
1996, paras. 5, 23, 28, 30, 31, 42, 46 (Hebrew).
27. Criminal Appeal 2831/95. Rabbi Ido Elba v. State of Israel, para. 6 in Justice
Mazza's opinion.
28. Criminal Appeal 2831/95. Rabbi Ido Elba v. State of Israel, para. 21in Justice
Mazza's opinion.
29. Criminal Appeal 2831/95. Rabbi Ido Elba v. State of Israel, para. 30 in Justice
Mazza's opinion.
30. On September 13, 1993, Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organiza-
tion (PLO) signed a peace agreement known as the Oslo Accords. From that date
Israel witnessed high prole activity by the extreme right seeking to reverse the
trend leading to peace. The most vicious attack against Palestinians took place on
February 25, 1994, when Dr. Baruch Goldstein, candidate number three on the
Kach list for the eleventh Knesset elections and designated to be the Kach's repre-
sentative on the Kiryat Arba council, entered the Cave of Machpellah (the burial
place of the Hebrew Patriarchs and their wives) in Hebron and massacred in cold
blood some twenty-nine Palestinians praying in the mosque inside the cave. Fol-
lowing this murderous attack, on September 13, 1994, the government decided
to outlaw both the Kach and its splinter movement, Kahane Is Alive. For further
discussion, see Raphael Cohen-Almagor, "Disqualication of Lists in Israel (1948-
114 | Raphael Cohen-Almagor
Shofar 31.2
1984): Retrospect and Appraisal," Law and Philosophy 13, no. 1 (1994): 43-95; and
"Disqualication of Political Parties in Israel: 1988-1996," Emory International Law
Review 11, no. 1 (1997): 67-109.
31. Criminal Appeal 2831/95. Rabbi Ido Elba v. State of Israel, para. 44 in Justice
Mazza's opinion.
32. Criminal Appeal 2831/95. Rabbi Ido Elba v. State of Israel, para. 61in Justice
Mazza's opinion.
33. Criminal Appeal 2831/95. Rabbi Ido Elba v. State of Israel, para. 61 in Jus-
tice Mazza's opinion. For further discussion, see Richard Moon, "The Regulation
of Racist Expression," in Liberal Democracy and the Limits of Tolerance, ed. Raphael
Cohen-Almagor (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000), 182-99.
34. http://breitman.homestead.com/vaadat-or.
35. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, The State of Human Rights in Israel
and the Occupied Territories, 2008 Report (Jerusalem, December 2008), 21.
36. Nadav Shragai, Jack Khoury and Yoav Stern, "Safed Chief Rabbi Calls on
State to Exact 'Revenge' against Arabs," Haaretz, March 26, 2008 (Hebrew).
37. http://atheism.about.com/library/world/AJ/bl_IsraelTerror.htm. See
the personal account of one of the terrorists, Haggai Segal, Dear Brothers: The West
Bank Jewish Underground (Woodmere, NY: Beit Shamai Publications, 1988).
38. Yuval Yoaz, "Livni Blasted for Appealing to 'Racist Rabbi' to Soften Pullout
Protest," Haaretz, November 17, 2008, http://www.Haaretz.com/hasen/pages/
ShArtDisengagement.jhtml?itemNo=610977&contrassID=23&subContrassID=1&
sbSubContrassID=0.
39. "Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu Skates On Incitement Charges," June 18, 2006,
http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2006/06/rabbi_shmuel_
el.html
40. "8 Die in Terror Attack on J'lem Yeshiva," Haaretz, March 8, 2008, http://
www.Haaretz.com/hasen/spages/961767.html; "8 Murdered by Terrorist in J'lem,"
The Jerusalem Post, March 9, 2008, http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagen
ame=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull&cid=1204546422275; Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
and Hillel Fendel, "Arab Terrorist Attacks Jerusalem's Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva: 8
Dead," Arutz Sheva, March 6, 2008, http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/
News.aspx/125487.
41. Nadav Shragai, Jack Khoury, and Yoav Stern, "Safed Chief Rabbi Calls on
State to Exact 'Revenge' against Arabs," Haaretz, March 26, 2008 (Hebrew).
42. Ibid.
43. "Rabbi: Hang Arab Children from Trees," PRESSTV, March 26, 2008,
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=49052&sectionid=351020202.
44. Nadav Shragai et al., "Safed Chief Rabbi Calls on State to Exact 'Revenge'
against Arabs," Haaretz, March 26, 2008 (Hebrew); Sharon Roffe-Or, "Arab Group:
Investigate Rabbi Who Called for Revenge against Arabs," YNET, March 26, 2008
(Hebrew).
45. http://www.news1.co.il/archive/001-D-103576-00.html?tag=1-09-37.
46. Einat Horowitz et al., "Love Him As Yourself?" Racism in the Name of Halacha,
11 (Hebrew).
Religious, Hateful, and Racist Speech in Israel | 115
Winter 2013
47. Tomer Zarchin, "Legal Advisor to the Government Ordered Criminal
Investigation against Safed Rabbi for Suspicion of Racist Incitement," Haaretz,
November 22, 2011 (Hebrew).
48. Yoav Stern, "Islamic Movement Head Charged with Incitement to Racism,
Violence," Haaretz, January 29, 2008 (Hebrew); Jonathan Lis and Yoav Stern, "Ra'ad
Salah Called for Intifada against Israel," Haaretz, February 16, 2007 (Hebrew).
49. The Temple Mount compound is the holiest site in Judaism since it is be-
lieved to be where the Temple once stood. The compound is referred to by Mus-
lims as al-Haram al-Sharif, "Sacred Noble Sanctuary," and houses the third holiest
site in Islam.
50. Yoav Stern, "Islamic Movement Head Charged with Incitement to Racism,
Violence," Haaretz, January 29, 2008 (Hebrew).
51. Ibid.
52. Ibid.
53. Ibid.
54. Yuval Yoaz and Yoav Stern, "Police Ordered: Investigate Salah for Incite-
ment," Haaretz, February 22, 2007 (Hebrew).
55. http://www.habanim.org/en/gilad_en.html.
56. Yoav Stern, "Islamic Movement Head: J'lem Destined Capital of Caliph-
ate," Haaretz, September 16, 2006 (Hebrew).
57. Ibid.
58. Jonathan Lis, Yoav Stern, and Yuval Yoaz, "Incitement Charges Drafted
against Islamic Movement Head," Haaretz, August 8, 2007.
59. Haaretz Service and Agencies, "Livni: Extremists Using J'lem Dig for their
Own Political Benet," Haaretz, February 7, 2007.
60. Ibid. Israel began building a walkway up to the compound in the Old City,
saying the construction is required to replace a centuries-old earthen ramp that
partially collapsed in a snowstorm three years ago. The excavations are intended
to strengthen the support columns of the Mugrabi bridge.
61. Haaretz Service and Agencies, "Livni: Extremists Using J'lem Dig for their
Own Political Benet," Haaretz, February 7, 2007.
62. "Indictment against Sheik Salah for Incitement to Racism," Haaretz, Oc-
tober 22, 2008 (Hebrew); Mendy Safdi, "Indictment against Sheik Salah for In-
citement to Racism and Violence," Tapuz, January 29, 2008, http://sf.tapuz.co.il/
shirshur-299-112112474.htm (Hebrew). See also http://www.news1.co.il/Arti-
clePrintVersion.aspx?docId=123880&subjectID=1 (Hebrew).
63. Mendy Safdi, "Indictment against Sheik Salah for Incitement to Racism and
Violence," Tapuz, January 29, 2008, http://sf.tapuz.co.il/shirshur-299-112112474.
htm (Hebrew).
64. 12641-11-10 State of Israel v. Nazim Abu Salim, Nazareth Magistrate Court,
November 21-22, 2010 (Hebrew).
65. http://internet-haganah.com/harchives/007002.html (October 6, 2010),
http://209.157.64.200/focus/f-news/2602978/posts.
66. Ahiya Raved, "3 Nazareth Men with Links to Global Jihad Charged
with Cabbie's Murder," YNET, June 28, 2010, http://www.ynetnews.com/
116 | Raphael Cohen-Almagor
Shofar 31.2
articles/0,7340,L-3911857,00.html.
67. 12641-11-10 State of Israel v. Nazim Abu Salim, Nazareth Magistrate Court,
November 21-22, 2010 (Hebrew). See also David E. Miller, "Israeli Muslims Grow
Extreme as Others Secularize," The Jerusalem Post, November 21, 2010, http://www.
jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=196188.
68. 12641-11-10 State of Israel v. Nazim Abu Salim, Nazareth Magistrate Court,
September 11, 2012 (Hebrew).
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