Sources close to Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh denied reports that he called for vigilante 'price tag' attacks against Arabs as a fitting response for the murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach.
On Wednesday, Army Radio published a recording of the rabbi allegedly telling students at a Rehelim yeshiva to attack Arabs as a response to Rabbi Shevach's murder. "There is one and only thing that can prevent [attacks] in the future… and that is a strong act of retaliation," Rabbi Ginsburgh can be heard saying, a typical fake news item taken out of context.
However, Rabbi Ginsburg's Derech Haim movement said in a statement that his remarks had been edited by hostile Army Radio staff, and contended that the rabbi had actually reiterated that price tag attacks were out of bounds later on in his talk. "From listening to the class, it is clear that the rabbi's intention was for actions that the state should carry out. The reporter who edited the article quoted one sentence from his five-hour address and presented it as if he called for price tag attacks," said spokesperson Uri Kirshenbaum.
"It is regrettable that Army Radio is misdirecting the public and resorting to rabbi-bashing, inflaming hate and widening rifts within the nation."
Kirshenbaum clarified that while Ginsburgh was not calling for vigilante actions against Arabs, the rabbi did expect "a fitting response" against Arab terrorism from the government, and "not isolated operations that endanger IDF soldiers".
Condemnations had poured in from left wing figures who did not take the time to hear the entire lecture, after the Army Radio report, including calls for the rabbi to be imprisoned. "It is important to understand that Rabbi Ginsburgh has hundreds of young people who listen to his words," said Hadashot military correspondent Roni Daniel. "I worry that they will derive from his words that such acts are permitted."
Yariv Oppenheimer, who used to head the far-left Peace Now organization. went so far as to say "Rabbi Ginsburgh needs to share a cell with (radical Islamic Imam) Raed Salach."