I’ve seen people online ask with lots of snark if the government of Israel or Israeli-Jewish public figures will react to the wave of anti-Arab hatred and incitement, the budding Jewish terrorism, with the same severity as the government reacts to the threat of Palestinian terrorism. Rabbi Daniel Landes has recently called for just that, including the bulldozing of parents’ homes, on principles that fuse democratic and halakhic principles. You can read the whole thing here, but here are what I think are the highlights:
“There is only one sane and truly halakhic way to tackle our current situation: Take the well-known members of the Orthodox Price Tag gang and lock ‘em up, for a long time and in an inaccessible prison. Don’t let them go home for chagim and deny them visitors. Do the best to break and separate them. Freeze monies that go to their families. And when and if we have proven guilty perpetrators, bulldoze their parents’ homes. The last will stop them.
The PTG [Price Tag Gang] is an imminent sakanat nefashot, a danger to life. They are a fire burning on the Sabbath that will destroy not only property, but the lives of soldiers, police and civilians. Indeed, the PTG seemingly wants to cause tension and havoc, leading possibly to war. In their apocalyptic vision, they are confident that Israel will finally “do what it has always needed to do” and act with outstanding force to destroy not only Hamas but the PA and probably all other Muslims.
This is a fiery threat that needs a cold water cannon to extinguish it. When we don’t counter the PTG we destroy a fundamental principle of Torah equality – “One Torah and one Justice should be for you and for the stranger that resides in your midst,” (Numbers 15:16.)
Harsh prison time, punishment to parents who have not exerted responsibility in reigning in their children and isolation from their peers should convince Jewish terrorists and wannabes from their disastrous road.
Finally, rabbis who have been inculcating and preaching the virus of racist revenge need to spend their Daf Yomi [daily Talmud study] time in jail. Ah, but do we not actually owe them our cherished respect? My teacher, the great moral leader Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, often quoted the Talmudic phrase, bimkom hillul HaShem ein mechalkin kavod lerav, “in the place of profanation of God’s name, we do not give honor to a Rav.”
There is no greater Hillul HaShem than a charred corpse of an innocent, murdered by Torah inspiration.”
On a personal note: I’ve been going to Israel, watching Israel, thinking about Israel and Israel and Palestine since the early 1980s. I’ve never seen this kind of clarion call.