Case Closed Against Authors of 'The King's Torah'
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein decided to close the criminal case against the authors of "The King's Torah," Torat Hamelekh, a judaic work that among other issues having to do with war, describes situations in which it is permissible and forbidden for Jews to endanger their lives.
According to a statement from the prosecutor's office, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein decided to close the case because "there is insufficient evidence to put the authors on trial for incitement to racism or incitement to violence."
The attorney general also stated however that it was "obvious that the decision to close (the case) was not in any way an expression of acceptance for the serious statements presented in the book. The opposite is true, the statements are, according to the attorney general, deserving of condemnation and denunciation."
The authors of the work, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira and Rabbi Yosef Elitzur, had been detained and investigated over suspected incitement to violence and racism.
Mainstream media headlines claimed that the two were encouraging murder of Arabs, a petition was filed by the Reform movement to prosecute the authors, there were calls tto ban the book and punish its authors - free speech notwithstanding - evenings and symposiums, opeds and interviews were dedicated to attacking the book.
Torah luminaries Rabbis Dov Lior and Yaakov Yoseph , who wrote the traditional "haskamot" for the book [approbations stating that a book's content is coherent halakhically, standard for halakhic works], were subpoenaed for questioning in a humiliating manner. In one case, as the rabbi was leaving prayers at the grave of Shimon HaTzadik, his car was stopped by police and he was taken out of the vehicle.
The book, published in 2009, is described by its authors as a discussion of circumstances in which Jewish law permits killing in times of war and peace. That includes the killing of non-Jews by definition, and as it does with every other aspect of the life of mankind, the Torah delineates rules and criteria for wartime and dealing with the enemy. It is a halakhic analysis, elucidating existing laws, not a primer calling for action or practical application and it does not mention Arabs.
The prosecutor's office held that there is no evidence that the authors had malicious intent.