Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Rabbi Wolpo regrets inciting remarks
SOS Israel chairman says his call to fire rubber bullets at IDF soldiers was result of 'a storm of emotions', accuses PM and defense minister of 'sending troops to shoot at Jews'
Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpo, chairman of the SOS Israel and Our Land of Israel movements, is taking back his call to fire rubber bullets at Israel Defense Forces soldiers and beat them up in response to similar actions on their part during the evacuation of Jewish communities in the West Bank.
Following the row sparked by his remarks, Wolpo said Tuesday evening, "God forbid should anyone fire at IDF soldiers, who engage in holy work serving the people of Israel and the Land of Israel… The comments were made as a result of a storm of emotions."
Rabbi Wolpo issued a statement saying that the media reports on the matter were "biased."
"The things I said in an interview to the 'Moreshet' radio station were after I took part in a protest for an IDF soldier whose house was destroyed," he said, adding that his only intention was to express fear and wan against a civil war which could develop in light of the "criminal activity" of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
He took advantage of the opportunity to blast Netanyahu and Barak, claiming that "because of personal considerations of ratings and popularity among the Left, and ad an act of surrender to (US President Barack) Obama's pressures, they ordered masked policemen to fire rubber bullets at Jews, whose only sin is the love of Israel."
'Rabbi should immigrate to Iran'
Wolpo's remarks were harshly slammed earlier. The Banish the Darkness organization, which unites 18 movements "opposing racist moves, publications and opinions, which stain and poison the Israeli society and Judaism," suggested that the rabbi "immigrate to Iran or Syria, where he'll find partners to his hatred for the State of Israel."
The organization called on the attorney general to launch a criminal investigation against the rabbi for inciting to violence against the security forces.
"The Our Land of Israel movement is an ideological incubator for the 'price tag' executors, writers of books like "The King's Torah" and different kinds of rioters," the organization said in a statement. "One can only regret that inciters of hatred of Rabbi Wolpo's type see themselves as partners in Judaism."
Rabbi Gilad Kariv of the Religious Action Center said that "as opposed to the Rabin murder, when the inciting rabbis' names remained anonymous, this time the names of Rabbi Wolpo and his inciting friends are well known.
"There is a clear address on the wall, and the law enforcement authorities should treat the rabbi the same way they would treat a Muslim cleric calling for violence against IDF soldiers."
Rabbi Mauricio Balter of the Masorti Movement said that "Rabbi Wolpo preaches the establishment of a society based on anarchy, violence and hatred, instead of education based on values of justice and law.
"The civil war the rabbi is leading us to contradicts Jewish Law. The soldier, who arrived to evacuate citizens violating the law, are sent there by the State, not by their own initiative, and they should not be punished for that."