Rabbi in Hebron Says Annihilation of Non- Jews Acceptable
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM - A prominent Israeli rabbi with thousands of followers said during a Sabbath homily in the settlement in Kiryat Arba'a Saturday that halacha, or Jewish religious law, "essentially supported the annihilation of non-Jews in Israel."
The rabbi, Rav Leor, said most rabbinic authorities "of the past and the present accepted the opinion that the lives of non-Jews don't enjoy the same sanctity as the lives of Jews."
"Hashmadat goyem" (the extermination of non-Jews), he said, was an established principle in Jewish theology.
The rabbi is affiliated with the messianic Jewish movement known as Gush Emunim which is represented in the Israeli Knesset by seven Knesset members.
The movement is represented in the Israeli government by Minister without portfolio Ed Eifam of the National Religious Party (NRP).
In 1994, Rav Leor supported the mass murder of scores of Arab worshipers by a fellow Jewish settler, Baruch Goldstein, an American Jewish immigrant from New York.
He referred to Goldstein as "a great rabbi and saint."
First Published Saturday, November 16, 2002