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UK Bans Rabbi Elitzur From Country

British security officials banned Rabbi Yosef Elitzur from entering the country over opinions expressed in his book Torat HaMelekh
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 8/10/2011, 7:28 PM

Rabbi Yosef Elitzur
Rabbi Yosef Elitzur
Flash 90

British security officials banned Rabbi Yosef Elitzur from entering the country over opinions expressed in the book Torat HaMelekh (Law of the King), which he co-wrote with Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira.

The book, which has generated significant controversy in Israel, is an academic treastie on Jewish Law as it pertains to warfare. In it Elitzur expressed the opinion that the lives of Jewish soldiers should be placed ahead of enemy, non-Jewish civilians in battle.
 
Elitzur received a letter stating he may not enter the United Kingdom for the next three years under British law. By law in the UK, someone who supports terrorism with justifying opinions, encourages an act of terrorism, or spreads hatred may not enter the country.
 
A year ago Elitzur was arrested at the Yizhar settlement on suspicion of 'incitement to racism and violance,' and running a 'racist' publication.
 
The arrest was broadly seen in religious circles in Israel as having being made under the color of law and perpetuating a double standard whereby rabbis are prosecuted for their academic opinions while radical left-wing professors are not.
 
In June police arrested Rabbi Dov Lior sparking sharp criticism and large protests for refusing to answer a summons for questioning pertaining to his writing an approbation for Torat Hamelekh. Rabbi Yaakov Yosef was also questioned after refusing to answer an identical summons.
 
Both rabbis said they felt there was no obligation to cooperate with police when it was the Torah, rather than they themselves, being put on trial.