One of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef’s sons charged Sunday that reports that his father refused a previous summons to appear for questioning are totally false. Authorities have contradicted the denial, according to Israeli mainstream media.
Yonatan Yosef, interviewed on Voice of Israel government radio, denied that a summons had been issued several weeks ago, as widely reported by Israel’s mainstream media. He added that a summons was issued only last week, and not before then, around the same time that police took Kiryat-Arba-Hevron chief Rabbi Dov Lior into custody for questioning.
Both rabbis were questioned concerning their remarks published in the preface of the book “Torat HaMelech,” which concerns Jewish law on the question of the priority of Jewish soldiers' lives versus killing of enemy civilians in time of war.
The remarks were made in a ”haskama,” a customary letter of approbation from well-known Torah scholars at start of religious works, attesting to a book's halakhic coherence and often simply due to respect for the rabbinic writer. The haskama does not necessarily express approval of the book’s opinions.
A protest is scheduled for 2 p.m. in the Shmuel HaNavi area in Jerusalem.
Yonatan Yosef, told Israel National News, “We are shocked by the arrest of one of Israel’s greatest Torah sages, who was taken into custody for remarks he made as part of the right of free speech.
“The rabbi was brought as a criminal by the police. It is degrading to demand his fingerprints as if he were a thief and criminal. The police pulled his driver out of the vehicle, and we view their action as undemocratic.”
Rabbi Yosef did not agree to be fingerprinted and did not answer any questions by the police, who released him less than an hour after they overtook his car in which he was leaving the Shimon Hatzaddik tomb where he said Rosh Chodesh (start of new month) morning prayers.
The rabbi’s son explained that Rabbi Yosef agreed to be taken into custody by the police for questioning but asked authorities why they act against a Knesset decision that the laws involved do not apply to religious texts.
The national religious public was up in arms last week after police questioned Rabbi Lior , and they have noted that neither the police nor government prosecutor have initiated incitement charges against Ben Gurion University Eyal Nir, who publicly stated nationalists marching in new Jewish neighborhoods in Arab-dominated parts of Jerusalem should have their “necks broken.”