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Settler Rabbis: Execute Army Dissenters

Sounding like some hateful mullah they condemn, two settler rabbis call for execution of army dissenters who refuse to serve in the occupied territories. A third cleric weakly assures that no individual will carry out an execution since the rabbis' message was to officials only. Right. Are we sure now?

Now setting themselves up as authorities on loyalty, these settler mouthpieces and those whom they represent have already endangered every Israeli by their brazen and illegal behavior. To say nothing of the Palestinians whom they apparently consider as subhuman.

Settler rabbi: Commander may execute soldier refusing to serve

By Ha'aretz Service

July 18, 2002

Leading settler rabbi, Shlomo Aviner, recently published an article in which he intimated that a soldier who refuses to serve in the territories - several hundred have done so since the start of the intifada in September 2000 - can be executed by a commander for treason.

The article, which was brought to light Thursday by daily
Yedioth Ahronoth, was published in the B'Ahava V'Emuna pamphlet that is distributed in synagogues. "We are in a state of war and it is forbidden to speak badly of the army," Aviner wrote.

"Beware, the internal informer, beware the dissenter. Rabbi Naftali Ben-Zvi, the head of the Wolozin yeshiva, wrote that a person weakening the hands of the commander must die, because he is endangering the entire nation," the rabbi wrote. He gave examples of Jews who were executed by commanders for treason, and concluded that a commander is allowed to execute a soldier refusing his commands.

Rabbi Avi Gisser of the West Bank settlement of Ofra criticized the article in an interview on Israel Radio on Thursday: "Especially today, Tisha B'Av, the article raises disputes and arguments between groups in Israel," Gisser said.

Gisser added that in his opinion the topic should not have been brought up. "There are better ways to warn about how dissention can potentially harm the state's future," he said.

"Israeli law also includes the death penalty for treason, but it is not implemented with regard to someone who says they cannot carry out a (military order)," the rabbi said.

Asked whether there was not a danger that someone might interpret Aviner's statements literally, Gissin explained that in the quote by rabbi Naftali Ben-Zvi, the word 'commander' is a metaphor for the
state, and that only the state's leadership can decide on a death penalty for dissenters. "There is no call for an individual to act [in what Rabbi Aviner said]"



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