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Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira: Killing Non-Jewish Infants is Permitted

By August 6, 2010

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Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, head of the the prominent Od Yosef Hai Yeshiva on the West Bank, wrote a book in which he defended the idea that it is licit under Jewish religious law to kill non-Jews -- even children. Police arrested him for "encouraging the killing" of non-Jews but later released him. Of course, it's easy to make a case for killing people in narrow circumstances -- like if it's the only way to prevent them from harming another. So what's the big deal?

The big deal is that Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira defends killing people who "threaten" Israel or "support" war against Israel, not people who are actively trying to harm others and thus might be killed in self-defense. Shapira even defends killing children whose very existence causes problems for Israel.

According to Shapira, it is permissible to kill a non-Jew who threatens Israel even if the person is classified as a Righteous Gentile. His book says that any gentile who supports war against Israel can also be killed.

Killing the children of a leader in order to pressure him, the rabbi continues, is also permissible. In general, according to the book, it is okay to kill children if they "stand in the way - children are often doing this." "They stand in the way of rescue in their presence and they are doing this without wanting to," he writes.

"Nonetheless, killing them is allowed because their presence supports murder. There is justification in harming infants if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us. Under such circumstances the blow can be directed at them and not only by targeting adults."

Source: Haaretz

I'm not sure that this can be seen as anything other than a call to terrorism -- or at least vigilantism. It would appear that anyone who ever supports any opponents of Israel could easily be labeled as supporters of war against Israel. That person could then be targeted for murder, at least if Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira had his way. The person's infant children could also be killed under the assumption that they might grow up to be like the parents.

Religious extremists certainly tend to think alike -- the defense for killing infants offered by Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira looks an awful lot like how conservative evangelical Christians justify stories in the Old Testament when God orders the killing of everyone, including children. Christians argue that God knew that the children would grow up to become enemies of the Jews, or at least awful sinners, so it was best to kill them young.

August 6, 2010 at 7:40 pm
(1) Sam Rose says:

First off, let me say that I am a Christian. I happened upon your site the other day, and have read various articles that you have written. I find your site informative and honest. With that said, let me say this: It doesn’t surprise me that many Conservative Christians have used the Bible to justify murder. I live in Texas, and I know how Neo-Cons are. But I don’t exactly see those Christians or the Rabbi as indicative of all religious people. I honestly think that Zionism and Extremism is to blame here.

August 6, 2010 at 11:53 pm
(2) P Smith says:

There’s an old saying: “A drunken man’s words are a sober man’s thoughts.” (Mel Gibson comes to mind whenever I remember that maxim.)

Replace “drunken man” with extremists and “sober man” with general public. There are many in Israel who vote for butchers like Netenyahu, Olmert and their ilk because they approve of the violence, even if they don’t commit it themselves. Remember the popularity in Israel, both with the military and the public, of a certain t-shirt?

These people have the same mindset as in 1930s Germany and 1870s USA, fomenting hate with words that made it acceptable, and the silent public agrees with it instead of opposing it. And unless something is done to counter it, the same result will happen.

The jews were once victims of an atrocity; that does not excuse them perpetrating one any more than being molested as a child excuses someone who as an adult molests children. If there ever is a backlast against and eradication of jews by muslim nations, it won’t be genocide in the same sense it was before. In Nazi Germany, the jews were innocent victims of christian ideology gone mad; if muslim nations lash out against Israel, this time, they will have brought it upon themselves with attitudes such as the rabbi’s. The only “chosen people” that Israel will be is a nation that chose suicide by war instead of peace.


August 11, 2010 at 11:16 pm
(3) Pastor Mike Palevo says:

This is the very argument I use in my Preaching and Teaching. The mentality of Rabbinical Judaism is Talmudic in nature, therefore their mindset is Psychotic. I study Talmud and Torah. I’ve attended classes at the Jewish Educational centers. It’s not just Zionism, it’s Talmudic Judaism. It’s race based, and full of hate and Racism. You think Moslems are violent, Hateful, Disrespectful??? You’ve seen nothing until you come in contact with the hardcore Zionist. They hate Christians! They Hate Jesus with a passion! They Hate Christianity! They hate the Bible! They virtually hate anything that has to do with RIGHT! They are even God haters! I speak from experience. One more point! Not every person that claims to be Jewish is evil, and hateful. It’s Judaism’s Religious Leaders that drive this. Their own books betray them!

August 12, 2010 at 8:45 am
(4) Songflight says:

This article is called “Blood Libel” What this rabbi preaches is not main stream Judiasm. It is like KKK speaking for all Christians. How dare it be printed.
Jews are held to a higher standard by themselves. He would be shunned by the mainstream community.
Israel and the Jews were helping the Haiti flood victims, and people all over the world. If you want to hate Jews, you do not have to make excuses. You are a hater.
Jews teach respect to all life, no matter what religion. I am sorry someone printed this article of a “sick Jew” instead of the ones where Jews are helping people live a better life all over the world.

August 12, 2010 at 4:56 pm
(5) Austin Cline says:

This article is called “Blood Libel”

That’s a very serious accusation. Can you back it up? I don’t think so because “blood libel” occurs when false accusations are made about the acts of some Jews and then all Jews are accused of supporting or participating. This means that to support your accusation, you’ll have to demonstrate first that false accusations have been made against someone and second that all Jews are falsely accused of supporting it.

And since neither are true, you’ll never be able to support your accusation — which, ironically, means you’re guilty of part of what you accuse me of. You’re a hypocrite.

What this rabbi preaches is not main stream Judiasm. It is like KKK speaking for all Christians. How dare it be printed.

You object to the truth about real events and real people being printed?

Jews are held to a higher standard by themselves. He would be shunned by the mainstream community.

Would be? Why only would be? Why isn’t he, right now?

If you want to hate Jews, you do not have to make excuses. You are a hater.

I’m a hater for printing the truth about the views and attitudes of a rabbi? When someone says that printing the truth is wrong or immoral, it’s a sure sign that they have something to hide.

Jews teach respect to all life, no matter what religion.

Well, not all Jews clearly. Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira doesn’t. His followers don’t. And I suspect that you don’t because a person who makes blatantly false accusations like you do is not a person who can be counted on to respect much of anything, including life.

August 13, 2010 at 4:17 pm
(6) John Hanks says:

All religions based on holy books are stupid and dangerous.
Read the Talmud, the Torah, The Bible and the Koran. They all justify infanticide, rape, mass murder, etc.

August 15, 2010 at 5:32 pm
(7) Dave Y. says:

This article is called “Blood Libel” What this rabbi preaches is not main stream Judiasm. It is like KKK speaking for all Christians. How dare it be printed.
Jews are held to a higher standard by themselves. He would be shunned by the mainstream community.
Then I’ll ask the same question I ask religious right Xian’s, why are these scum that preach this hate still breathing the air, you suppoosedly hold your selves to a higher standard, then why is this pyschotic bit of scum still walking on the earth rather than in a dirt nap for eternity!
If you really want respect, than CLEAN your own closet first, show the rest of the world how its supposed to be done, until then you are just whining about how people view your scum rather than cleaning up the mess!

August 30, 2010 at 1:53 am
(8) fred says:

i recently watched a movie called DEFAMATION (u can search for it on the net). It is directed by a brilliant young israeli jew. It’s a real eye opener…. It takes a look into the world of anti semetism and every non jew and non jew should see it. I pray for those israeli children who go on these ‘holocaust vacations.’

February 17, 2011 at 11:17 pm
(9) Jane says:

I just saw a photo of a little boy who had his arm hacked off by Israeli Settlers. That photo will forever be burned in my mind as the most horrific thing I have ever seen. This is a group of Jewish people. What sick bunch of people get together and hack a little defenseless child’s arm off? You have just changed my view of Jewish people now and forever. The people who did that do not serve the same God I serve. Oh and no one should feel guilty about The Holocaust 150-300 thousand died of typhus and natural causes. That has been established. 6 million did not perish and no one died of gassing. People The Truth will set you free, it’s set me free. I look forward to the day that a group of Jewish people get together and form a committee in search of the Truth about the Holocaust.

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