Controversial Israeli Rabbi Says Terrorists May Not Be Left Alive After Attacks
An Israeli rabbi known for his extremist views published a halachic ruling on Thursday that terrorists may not be left alive after they have carried out attacks, Israeli news website nrg reported.
Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu made the announcement on Facebook in response to a query he had received about whether it was permissible to leave terrorists alive in order to interrogate them.
Eliyahu wrote, “If you leave him alive, there is a fear that he will be released and kill other people.” But, he added, it is necessary to adopt counter-terrorism methods most compatible with the law.
He continued, “Only of there is no other option, and there is a ticking bomb, is it permissible to keep him alive, to interrogate him, and to send him to hell as quickly as possible.”
Eliyahu also ruled that soldiers or police officers who leave terrorists alive in the wake of attacks should be prosecuted. He called for the establishment of a committee to investigate the circumstances under which terrorists are not killed, implying that no one should be exempt from scrutiny. “Maybe there are people in the State Attorney’s office who should be prosecuted; maybe there are officers in the police or the army who should be shaken [into action].”
Two Facebook commenters challenged the rabbi’s post, asking him whether he would also apply his dictum to Yigal Amir, the Jewish terrorist who assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and Yishai Schlissel, who stabbed marchers at a Jerusalem gay pride parade in 2005 and again this year, fatally wounding 16-year-old Shira Banki. Eliyahu did not respond.
Eliyahu is no stranger to controversial statements. In the past, he has advocated “carpet bombing the general area from which Qassam rockets are launched into Israel, regardless of the risk to Palestinian life,” and for “state-sanctioned revenge” against Arabs.
After the 2008 terror attack on the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva, in which eight Israeli students were murdered, Eliyahu called for the state to take “awesome revenge,” such as “hanging the children of the terrorist who carried out the attack… from a tree.”
Eliyahu was also involved in the publication and distribution of, “On Either Side of the Border,” a pamphlet promoting a conspiracy-theory based on purported testimony from a “Hezbollah officer who spied for Israel,” who claimed that the Vatican helped organize tours of the Auschwitz death camp for Hezbollah members to teach them how to kill Jews.