Israeli officials are investigating whether to take legal action against the authors of a book that glorifies the Jewish settler who murdered 29 MUslim worshipers last year at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the West Bank town of Hebron.
Copies of the book,” Baruch, the Man,” memorializing Brooklyn-born physician Baruch Goldstein, were being sold on street corners throughout Israel this week.
Members of the outlawed extremist Kach movement, which produced the 500-page book, claimed that 6,000 copies were printed and that it was virtually sold out. Israel Television reported that about 400 copies were printed and sold.
In Jerusalem’s fervently religious Mea Shearim neighborhood, however, a few Kach activists selling the books on the street were pushed away by a group of angry residents who said they did not identify with Goldstein’s act, according to local news reports.
Attorney General Michael Ben-Yair this week instructed police to investigate whether the publication of the book was illegal. Kach and its sister movement, Kahane Chai, were declared illegal by the Israeli government last year in the wake of the Hebron massacre.
Police Minister Moshe Shahal told Israel Radio that he was “shocked to the depths of my soul” by the book.
The hardcover book has a picture of Goldstein on the cover receiving a certificate of merit from the Israel Defense Force. A picture of his grave in Kiryat Arba, located near Hebron, is on the back cover.
Former Kach head Baruch Marzel said a second printing of about 4,000 books is under way.
Among the contributors to the book is Miriam Levinger, the wife of activist Hebron Rabbi Moshe Levinger. She wrote that she is “full of admiration” for Goldstein.
“He was righteous. He had a great love for the people of Israel, and with all his strength tried to make things easier for the people of Israel,” she said.
Meanwhile, a group of Jewish settlers celebrated Purim on Thursday at Goldstein’s grave. Police reportedly detained two settlers for trying to force their way into the mosque at the Tomb. One of the men was reportedly dressed in a costume depicting Goldstein.
And a planned visit to the Knesset by three members of the outlawed Kach movement failed to take place this week, after two members refused Knesset Speaker Shevach Weiss request for permission to review their police files. The third member was under house arrest.