Settler rabbi arrested for controversial book


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A leading rabbi of the settler movement was arrested for writing a book that says Jewish law allows the killing of non-Jews.

Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira of the Yitzhar settlement was arrested Monday on suspicion of incitement for his book "The King’s Torah," which was published last year and garnered headlines then for its controversial content. Police also confiscated 35 copies of the book found in his home. The book is sold in bookstores.

Shapira, who heads the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva in Yitzhar, was released on bail hours after his arrest.

Israeli police reportedly began investigating the book after an ad appeared for it last year.

Shapira wrote in his book that it is permissible to kill gentile babies in time of war "since it is assumed that they will grow up to be evil like their parents" and will pose a threat to Israel. He based his conclusions on biblical passages.

The book has been defended as a pedagogical work exploring Jewish law.

Shapira was arrested in January on suspicion of involvement in the arson attack on a mosque in a nearby Palestinian village. No charges were brought against the rabbi.

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