Sunday, 24 July 2016

Israel's neo-Nazi Rabbis - Rabbi Col. Eyal Karim who Advocated Rape of Palestinian Women becomes Chief Rabbi of Israeli Army

According to Rabbi Col. Eyal Karim the purpose of Gentiles is — to serve Jews:

Rabbi Col. Eyal Karim (left), nominated to become IDF chief rabbi, sits next to his predecessor, Brig. Gen. Rafi Peretz, on April 21, 2016 (Diana Khananashvili/Defense Ministry)
Say what you will about Israel’s Rabbis, they are remarkably consistent bigots and racists.  The growing Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox sectors of Israeli society overflow with genocidal and overt racism and chauvinism.  To Israel’s Orthodox Rabbis a Jewish state means a racist Jewish state in which non-Jews i.e. Palestinians are the untermenschen.
Rabbi Dov Lior - Chief Rabbi of Hebron and Kiryat Arab settlement
According to Rabbi Dov Lior, Chief Rabbi of Hebron and the settler Yesha Council of Rabbis in the West Bank “There is no such thing as civilians in wartime… A thousand non-Jewish lives are not worth a Jew’s fingernail!”  [How To Kill Goyim And Influence People: Leading Israeli Rabbis Defend Manual for For Killing Non-Jews]
It was only a few years ago when Torat HaMelech, (The King’s Torah) was published by Rabbis Yitzhak Shapira and Josef Elitzur.  It was described by one Israeli tabloid as ‘230 pages on the laws concerning the killing of non-Jews, a kind of guidebook for anyone who ponders the question of if and when it is permissible to take the life of a non-Jew."  It was a book that justified the murder of non-Jewish children and infants:  The authors wrote that ‘There is justification for killing babies if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us, and in such a situation they may be harmed deliberately, and not only during combat with adults."

Because of the uproar, even in Israel, the Police briefly arrested both authors.  However they were soon released’ once the international attention had faded.  The Attorney General refused to prosecute them.  Investigations against rabbis who approve book also to be closed; Weinstein: Not enough evidence of intention to incite

One of the reasons why any suggestion of a prosecution was dropped was that hundreds of rabbis and the Orthodox rallied to their defence.  To have prosecuted Israel’s genocidal rabbis would have brought a conflict between State and the Orthodox Rabbinate.

If they had been Arabs, then their feet wouldn’t have touched the floor.  Sheikh Raed Salah, who was alleged to have used the medieval blood libel in his criticism of Israel’s attack on worshippers at the Al Aqsa Mosque, was gaoled for 11 months even though he denied having made any such reference. Islamist leader Raed Salah starts 9-month prison term  But to publish a book advising how, according to Jewish religious law one may murder non-Jews – that is ok in the ‘Jewish’ state.

When you integrate the religious hierarchy into a settler colonial state and give those rabbis the right to define who is a member of the herrenvolk, a Jewish national, then religious chauvinism becomes transformed into virulent racism, backed by the power of the state.

Religion in a state legitimises that state.  It gives it moral authority.  In Iran and Saudi Arabia the function of religion is to reinforce and legitimise the state.  After all the myth is that the state is itself a creation of god and endorsed by him.  In Islamic states those who suffer from this are primarily Muslims, in the Jewish state it is Jews who benefit as they are privileged.  In Israel religion has become a state ideology. 

In Israel the Jewish religion is and has been transformed into an ideological justification of the most atavistic racism.
In the Pew research survey ‘Israel’s Divided Society’ 48% of Israeli Jewish adults favoured expelling Israel’s Palestinians and 46% were opposed.  But among the Haredi (Ultra Orthodox) 59% agreed with expulsion and 32% were opposed.  Among the central Orthodox, a full 72% agree with  expelling Israel’s Arabs and just 26% were opposed.
Safed - on the original holy cities in Palestine
Israel’s Orthodox rabbinate constitutes a human cesspool of racism.  In 2010 Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, son of a Sephardic Chief Rabbi, issued an edict that Arabs were banned from renting rooms or flats in Safed.  After coming in for criticism by the more secular section of Israeli society, hundreds of rabbis rallied to his defence. [Dozens of Israeli rabbis back call to forbid sale of property to Arabs Guardian, 7.12.10].  Netanyahu  who had originally criticised Eliyahu, after coming under sustained pressure internationally, fell silent.  Chief Rabbis in Israel are government officials, paid by the State.  Eliyahu continues to be paid by the Israeli state.

Rabbi Col. Eyal Karim, the new Chief Military Rabbi, is therefore no exception to the rule.  There is nothing out of the ordinary in his suggestion that ‘in times of war it is permissible for soldiers to “have sex with comely gentile women against their will”.
Mordechai Kedar - Colonel in Army and Bar Ilan University lecturer advocates rape as deterrent to terrorism
The idea of rape as a weapon of war is not new to Zionism.  Col Mordechai Kedar, a lecturer at the religious Bar Ilan university, spoke of how rape would act to deter the Palestinians from resisting their occupiers.  This did not stop Kedar from being invited to Britain a year ago by the Zionist Federation.  Kedar spoke at a number of Zionist meetings, including one hosted by Sussex Friends of Israel. [see Picket Meeting Of Israeli Professor Kedar Who Advocates Rape As A Deterrent.   
Kedar told Israel’s army radio that ‘'The only thing that deters a suicide bomber is the knowledge that if he pulls the trigger or blows himself up, his sister will be raped.’  Israeli Professor's 'Rape as Terror Deterrent' Statement Draws Ire Ha’aretz 22.7.14.]
Rabbi Ovadi Yosef, Sephardic Chief Rabbi with Eli Yishai, far-Right MK and Aryeh Deri  MK of Shas
The late Sephardic Chief Rabbi Ovadi Yosef was a font of wisdom on matters to do with halacha (the oral Jewish law) and the interpretation of the Torah.  The 6 million murdered in the holocaust were simply reincarnated souls sent to do repentance in the gas chambers.  This is virtually identical with the anti-Semitic President of Christians United 4 Israel, Pastor John Hagee, for whom Hitler was simply god’s agent. 

On the place of non-Jews in the world he was even more explicit:  “Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world – only to serve the People of Israel.”

What was that about anti-Semitism?

Tony Greenstein

Jonathan Ofir on July 12, 2016

Rabbi Col. Eyal Karim (left), nominated to become IDF chief rabbi, sits next to his predecessor, Brig. Gen. Rafi Peretz, on April 21, 2016 (Diana Khananashvili/Defense Ministry)

Just on my way to my flight from Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, I noticed this cover headline in the Yediot Aharonot newspaper front page:

“New IDF Chief Rabbi: It is permissible to rape during war”. Under that: “Major Col. Eyal Qarim has declared in the past “draft of girls is totally forbidden” – and claimed that in times of war it is permissible for soldiers to “have sex with comely gentile women against their will”.

I have followed the case of Qarim for quite a while. In fact, some three weeks ago I drafted an article covering the history of Qarim’s violent advocacy since 2003. Though at that point the story seemed not to be current, just yesterday those fears concerning Qarim’s possible influence were confirmed: Qarim was promoted from head of the IDF Rabbinate to IDF Chief Rabbi. Below is my drafted article.

The story of the IDF Chief Rabbi Col. Eyal Qarim and his opinions about rape in times of war is one that comes up occasionally in the media, as it again has done recently for example here, and cited on other sources. Lately, a contact asked me whether I could look at the Hebrew sources and confirm that there is no mistranslation.
Front page of Yediot with Qarim appointment, controversy

I am familiar with this case, and not only is there no mistranslation as such – there is a continuation of the story which seems to have gained no local (Israeli) nor international scrutiny, till now, and I think it deserves it. In order to understand the seriousness of the whole story, a certain historical overview is necessary:

The story has mainly come to be noticed due to Yossi Gurvitz’s article in March 2012 titled “IDF colonel-rabbi implies: Rape is permitted in war”, where he notes an answer that Qarim, not in uniform at the point, gave to a concerned reader of a religious publication called Kipa asking about rape in times of war, opining that “prohibitions against immorality” are removed during war. Part of Qarim’s answer:

“[W]ar removes some of the prohibitions on sexual relations, and even though fraternizing with a gentile woman is a very serious matter, it was permitted during wartime (under the specific terms) out of understanding for the hardship endured by the warriors. And since the success of the whole at war is our goal, the Torah permitted the individual to satisfy the evil urge, under the conditions mentioned, for the purpose of the success of the whole.”

This was noticed in the Sheldon Adelson owned NRG and on Mondoweiss, both a day after Gurvitz’s post.

Gurvitz was making the point that although Qarim posted his answer in 2003, when he was out of uniform (Qarim had served as a combat soldier and commander in an elite IDF unit), he was in 2012 a commander in the military rabbinate, and considered for the post of Chief Military Rabbi.
Gurvitz asked the IDF Spokesman the following questions:

1.         Is the rape of women during wartime agreeable to the IDF Ethics Code?
2.         If not, why does a prominent military rabbi promote it?
3.         If not, does the IDF intend to end the service of Col. Qarim, or bring charges against him?
4.         How does the IDF Spokesman intend to deal with the anticipated damage to its image in the international arena, resulting from Col. Qarim’s ruling?

There was a response, as Gurvitz notes: “Frankly, I did not expect an answer, but surprisingly enough an enraged officer from IDF Spokesman New Media Unit called me. His official response was that Qarim was not an officer in active service when he wrote that ruling, and furthermore that my question ‘disrespects the IDF, the State of Israel and the Jewish religion,’ and hence his unit will no longer answer my questions.”

Apparently this exposure became a PR nuisance for the IDF, so the day after Gurvitz’s article came out, Qarim issued a “clarification” on the same religious website, Kipa (in Hebrew).
It is this clarification which is so interesting in terms of currency and as an addition to the story, because here is the military rabbi in uniform, and this is how he tries to backpedal. The response article is headlined:

“Rabbi Qarim clarifies: of course rape is not permitted in any situation – by halacha (religious ruling). Head of the Rabbinate Department answers activists from the left who have taken his words out of context. In clarification of the halachic (religious ruling) answer that he gave on Kipa [2003], Rabbi Qarim says “of course the Torah never allowed rape of a woman”.

Let us scrutinize how exactly Qarim gets out of this one:

Of course the Torah never allowed rape of a woman. The ruling of “comely woman” [Deuteronomy 21] is meant to cause a soldier to retreat from his intention to take the [female] prisoner to be his wife, through a series of acts which moderate her beauty and accentuate her personality and her sorrow. If, after the whole process he still wishes to marry her, he must do this through Hupa [religious ceremony] and blessings…. In addition, the whole essence of the ruling was to refine the situation which was prevalent in the barbaric world of wars that was existent then, where any soldier was permitted to do as he pleased with the prisoner, and the purpose of the ruling is to prevent a soldier from taking the prisoner as wife in the heat of battle. It is clear that in our days, the world has advanced to a level of morality where prisoners are not taken to be married, of course this ruling is not to be carried out as written, as it is also in total opposition to the values and orders of the army.
Now it is necessary to scrutinize the original text and what was originally asked on the first Kipa article in 2003. The inquirer asked specifically: “How is it then, that it was told to me by a rabbi, that a comely woman can be [raped], according to some of the [Halachic] rulers, also before the whole process described in the Torah? That is, that [a man would] surrender to his desires, and have sex with her, and only later take her to her home etc.?”

Indeed, the text of the Torah is worrying in its formulation. Let us have a look at it. This is Deuteronomy 21:10-14:

“When you go out to battle against your enemies, and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take them away captive, and see among the captives a beautiful woman, and have a desire for her and would take her as a wife for yourself, then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and trim her nails. She shall also remove the clothes of her captivity and shall remain in your house, and mourn her father and mother a full month; and after that you may go in to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. It shall be, if you are not pleased with her, then you shall let her go wherever she wishes”.

Indeed, the section is somewhat confusing – because the first “take her as a wife” that appears, and even more so in Hebrew וְלָקַחְתָּ לְךָ לְאִשָּׁה , could well be translated as an act of rape, in that the literal translation can be “and you took her as your woman”, in a “surrender to desires” as the inquirer puts it. Though the acts that follow are relating to the more formal question of marriage.

This is the very specific matter that the inquirer had asked about, and Qarim did not really answer it. Instead, he essentially explained how as the “success of the whole at war is our goal, the Torah permitted the individual to satisfy the evil urge”. As NRG noted, Qarim did not say “no, it is not permitted”.

But when pressed to backpedal, Qarim applied a novel technique. He addresses the rape issue in the Torah very lightly (“Of course the Torah never allowed rape of a woman”), but then goes to address another issue – the formal issue of the marriage – as if the two were one and the same. What he then regards as the “problem” that the Torah supposedly tries to tackle, is the actual ceremonial marriage – not the rape. So Qarim is saying that the problem is taking a decision to marry a prisoner “in the heat of battle”. Thus he now tackles a whole other matter, saying “it is clear that in our days, the world has advanced to a level of morality where prisoners are not taken to be married. Of course this ruling is not to be carried out as written, as it is also in total opposition to the values and orders of the army”.

But this is a straw man. The inquirer did not ask about marriage, but about rape, and noted that some rabbinical authorities have opined that the ruling could be about what to do after the “surrender to desires”. In his 2003 answer, Qarim was focusing on the rape issue, justifying it in historical terms, and not answering the question specifically in address of our times, as was asked.
Qarim provides very ambiguous answers, which in their focus may leave the reader confused. In 2003 he seemed to imply that rape is permitted for Jews in times of war (he did not make the explicit distinction between biblical times and now), and in his “clarification” he addressed marriage, not rape.
This ambivalence, straw-man-argumentation and obfuscation are very worrying. In the darkness of ambivalence, one could indeed be worried that soldiers, particularly those heeding rabbinical opinions, would be confused. And who knows what a confused soldier “in the heat of battle” could come to do with a Palestinian woman.

NRG noted in its article that “it’s now clear who Erez Efrati learned from”. Erez Efrati is an IDF Officer, the bodyguard of the Chief in Staff, who was convicted of rape and who told the Supreme Court in 2011 that the reason he attacked the young woman was because “he acted as if she was a terrorist”. NRG also notes the opinion of Tzfat chief rabbi Shmuel Eliayhu, also cited from the Kipa site:

“If IDF soldiers do not satisfy their evil lusts, they may lose the war, and then the enemy soldiers will rape our women. In other words, we are talking about rape as a protective measure”.

Thus it seems that rape in times of war is a rather contentious issue amongst Rabbis, even IDF Rabbis. “No” doesn’t necessarily mean “no”, violent attack can be considered as “protective measure”. One wonders whether the “barbaric world of wars” that Qarim refers to is actually distant history.
Postscript: In response to some outrage from a few politicians from the left and heads of women’s rights organizations in Israel, the IDF Spokesman is quoted in Yediot Aharonot today stating: 

Major General Qarim seeks to clarify that his words were uttered only in regards to a Halachic interpretation question, but in no way as an answer to a practical question. Rabbi Qarim never wrote, said or even thought that an IDF soldier is permitted to sexually assault a woman during war – whoever interprets his words otherwise is mistaken and deceiving. Rabbi Qarim’s moral attitude can be witnessed in his long service in the military in various command posts, in combat and as well as rabbinical functions, where he has demonstrated total loyalty to the values of the IDF and the spirit of the IDF, especially values of human dignity towards all.”

But this is essentially the backpedaling that Qarim already attempted in 2012. As I have shown above, it is rather unconvincing.

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was Israel’s Sephardic Chief Rabbi.  He was the spiritual mentor of Shas, the religious sephardic party of government.  He was also a noted racist.  The article below is from The Times of Israel.

Late Sephardi spiritual leader made a range of inflammatory comments — involving snakes and sinners, gentiles and Blacks

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who died Monday at 93, was a revered halachic scholar whose rulings found solutions for Jews caught in complex situations, brought countless Jews back to Torah observance, and unified the diverse Sephardi community.

But Yosef was also known for some highly problematic statements about Jews, Arabs, Americans, and others.

Here are just five of the many comments that provoked outrage.

1) The ‘guilt’ of Jewish victims of the Holocaust:
“The six million Holocaust victims were reincarnations of the souls of sinners, people who transgressed and did all sorts of things which should not be done. They had been reincarnated in order to atone.”
— Weekly Saturday night sermon in August 2000

2) Hurricane Katrina as divine punishment for godlessness and American support for the disengagement from Gaza:
“There was a tsunami and there are terrible natural disasters, because there isn’t enough Torah study… Black people reside there [New Orleans]. Blacks will study the Torah? [God said] let’s bring a tsunami and drown them.”
“Hundreds of thousands remained homeless. Tens of thousands have been killed. All of this because they have no God.”
“Bush was behind Gush Katif [the Gaza settlement bloc]. He encouraged Sharon to expel Gush Katif… We had 15,000 people expelled here, and there 150,000. It was God’s retribution… God does not short-change anyone.”
— Weekly Saturday night sermon in July 2005

3) The purpose of Gentiles — to serve Jews:
“Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world – only to serve the People of Israel.”
“In Israel, death has no dominion over them… With gentiles, it will be like any person – they need to die, but [God] will give them longevity. Why? Imagine that one’s donkey would die, they’d lose their money.
“This is his servant… That’s why he gets a long life, to work well for this Jew.”
“Why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat… That is why gentiles were created.”
— Weekly Saturday night sermon in October 2010

4) On making peace with Arabs:
“How can you make peace with a snake?”
“Those evildoers, the Arabs — it says in the Gemara [Talmud] that God is sorry he ever created those sons of Ishmael.”
— Weekly Saturday night sermon in August 2000

5) On Muslims:
“They’re stupid. Their religion is as ugly as they are.”
— Weekly Saturday night sermon in December 2009. (Yosef was discussing the law that a Jewish woman may remarry her husband after they divorced only if she has not slept another man in the interim. However, said Yosef, in Muslim religious law, the condition for a woman to remarry her husband is that she marry another man first.)

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