Rabbi David Druckman, Chief Rabbi of the city of Kiryat Motzkin north of Haifa, was questioned on Sunday by police about his signing of a rabbis’ letter against employing Arabs.
The letter was written following the 2008 massacre in the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva in Jerusalem, when an Arab terrorist infiltrated the yeshiva and murdered eight Jews.
Rabbi Druckman, who refused to cooperate with the interrogators, told Arutz Sheva that he called on the police to also question former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy. Halevy recently said that Israel’s hareidi-religious Jews are “a bigger existential threat to Israel than Iran and Ahmadinejad.”
“I told them that as a matter of principle I am not willing to cooperate in the investigation so long as they don’t question Ephraim Halevy for inciting against hareidim and as long as they don’t question those academics who incite against the State of Israel and against the Jews,” Rabbi Druckman said.
He added that the interrogators kept trying to ask him additional questions, but his response was that he is a law-abiding citizen and is convinced that his actions were consistent with the law.
Rabbi Druckman said that he does not know if the police now intend to question all the rabbis who signed the letter, but said that questioning a rabbi for signing a letter is “unreal.”
“Twice daily we hear inciting statements made by public officials and no one does anything about it, but in this case they are still talking about a three-year-old issue,” he said. “This is horrifying, especially if you recall that the letter was signed after a terrible massacre of yeshiva students.”
He added, “My feeling is that we’ve already gotten used to this farce and that is shameful, because when you are used to something you stop speaking out against it. This absurdity cannot continue.”
Rabbis being arrested and questioned by police seems to have become routine.
Rabbi Dov Lior of Kiryat Arba and Rabbi Yaakov Yosef were recently arrested and questioned over the "haskama", rabbinical approbation, they gave to the book Torat Hamelech. The book, written by Rabbi Yitzchak Shapira, contains his interpretations of Jewish law regarding the use of force when dealing with enemies. Although the book makes no direct mention of Arabs, some have said that the book incites to kill Arabs.
A "haskama" is found at the beginning of many Judaic works and signifies that the rabbi who read it testifies to the Halakhic coherence and accuracy of the writing. Authors attempt to get "haskamot" from famous rabbis for that reason.