World

Senior Israeli Rabbi Calls for the Mass Execution of Palestinians

Shmuel Eliyahu has a long history of hate speech.

Photo Credit: david156/Shutterstock

Senior Israeli Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu believes the Israeli army should stop arresting Palestinians and execute them instead.

“It must execute them and leave no one alive,” Eliyahu wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday, according to Defend Democracy Press.

Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of the city of Safed, has a record of making racist remarks about Arabs and Muslims. He once said Israel should take “revenge” against Arabs, and that Palestinians, whom he once labeled enemies of Israel, must be “destroyed and crushed in order to end violence.”

“If they don’t stop after we kill 100, then we must kill 1,000,” Eliyahu told the Jerusalem Post in 2007. “And if they do not stop after 1,000, then we must kill 10,000. If they still don’t stop we must kill 100,000, even a million.”

In a previous Facebook post, Eliyahu argued Palestinians who are arrested should not be kept alive.

“If you leave him alive, there is a fear that he will be released and kill other people,” he wrote. “We must eradicate this evil from within our midst.”

In 2012, Eliyahu was accused of making racist remarks after calling Arab culture “cruel” and saying Arabs have “violent norms” that have “turned into ideology.” The charges were later dropped by the Israeli Justice Ministry amidst speculation that journalists had misrepresented his words.

On a separate occasion, Eliyahu claimed that Arabs steal Jewish farm equipment in an attempt to blackmail Palestinian farmers. 

“The minute you make room for Arabs among Jews, it takes five minutes before they start to do whatever they want,” he said.

Tensions have been heightened recently in occupied Palestinian territory as a result of the restrictions placed on Palestinian worshippers entering the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015. As many as 300 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since October 2015.

Celisa Calacal is a junior writing fellow for AlterNet. She is a senior journalism major and legal studies minor at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. Previously she worked at ThinkProgress and served as an editor for Ithaca College's student newspaper. Follow her at @celisa_mia.

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