Nahum Barnea
Ynetnews (Opinion)
June 30, 2011 - 12:00am,7340,L-4089031,00.html

Rabbi Dov Lior should have been interrogated in connection with affairs that are much graver than the praise he lavished on a book of incitement based on Jewish Law verses: Acts carried out by the Jewish terror underground; the Rabin murder; the Goldstein massacre – all these crimes, and others, came from a milieu where Rabbi Lior was, and still is, the spiritual authority.

After the abovementioned crimes were committed, the Shin Bet was eager to know whether rabbi Lior endorsed these acts, knew about them in advance, and who else knew, if at all. Yet on the political orders of prime ministers, Lior was left alone, as were other radical rabbis.

That was a historic mistake, the cowardice of prime ministers and the small-mindedness of two official commissions of inquiry. Rabbi Lior and his ilk concluded that not only are they allowed to think that they are above the law – they are also allowed to act that way.

The State Prosecutor’s Office did not necessarily remedied the past cowardice by insisting on probing rabbi Lior now of all times, over an endorsement he wrote for an insignificant book of all things. What exactly is there to probe, Rabbi Lior is asking now. Every word that appeared in the book on my behalf was indeed written by me. If prosecutors wish to indict me for incitement, they should go ahead and do so.

The fact that police investigators needed less than an hour to complete their interrogation and sent rabbi Lior to his home without any restrictive conditions showed that this probe was only needed in and of itself. The investigators did not learn anything they were unaware of before. An indictment against rabbi Lior will not be served. It is doubtful whether one will be served against rabbi Shapira, who wrote the book (he will be happy if that happens; it will enable him to sell more editions.)

Equality before the law?

It appears that the developments surrounding rabbi Lior’s investigation attest to inflated ego on both sides. On the one hand we have a rabbi who refuses to report to the police station because of his contempt for the State and its institutions; on the other hand there is an aggressive State Prosecutor’s Office that must show everyone who the master of the house is, and also police officers who watched too much television.

The arrest, in an ambush on the Tunnel Road, added a needless dramatic touch to a marginal probe and provided rabbi Lior’s law-breaking fans with a convenient weapon.

“All are equal before the law,” declared State Prosecutor Moshe Lador Tuesday. I wish it were true. All are equal before the law, yet when it comes to facing law enforcers, some are more equal than others. There are many examples of this.

Look, for example, at the way our law enforcement establishment handles the criminals who adore rabbi Lior. Those who blocked the exit from Jerusalem Monday, stormed the Supreme Court building and damaged public property were released hours later, without being warned. The same is true for those who riot during the eviction of illegal outposts and those who reside there. Equality before the law? Don’t make us laugh.

The drama around rabbi Lior’s arrest serves everyone: The rabbi is being hoisted on the shoulders of his fans; the top police brass receives praise and immunity in another sector; and the prosecutors assume their favorite role: The law, the hero, the victim.

Rome’s emperors knew that they must provide bread and entertainment. Rabbi Lior’s arrest belongs to the entertainment chapter.


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