The Chief Rabbi of Tzfat, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, has sharply attacked the decision of the Haifa District Court to release almost all those arrested for their participation in anti-Jewish riots in several northern towns and cities.

The rabbi condemned what he called a “wholesale release” of the rioters, and said such actions would “lead to anarchy across the country.”

“Dozens of rioters were released on Friday by the Haifa court, among them Arabs who committed acts of violence in Akko, the Galilee, and other places,” he said. “They threw rocks, concrete blocks, and metal rods, and injured people. They almost killed someone [in Akko] and he is still in hospital.

“And the judges have all kinds of wonderful excuses,” Rabbi Eliyahu continued. “This one they sent to house arrest, and that one didn’t have malicious intent. This one is still young… we’re talking about dozens of Arab rioters – they were all released, wholesale. We have to tell the judges: You will be held to blame when people are killed, when people are murdered, when people are injured. As David Hamelech [King David] said, ‘For how long will the judges give unjust sentences, and give honor to the leaders of the evildoers?’ (Psalms 82).

“Your duty is to rescue those in danger, not to protect those who seek to harm them,” Rabbi Eliyahu added. “Realize that when you act in this manner, you are bringing about anarchy in the entire country.

“Let us hope that we will soon merit an upright justice system, instead of judges who protect lawbreakers and do not defend those harmed by them,” he concluded.

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