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Unholy War

Originally posted on https://maximumintifada.wordpress.com


In early March 2024, a video made its rounds on the internet of Rabbi Eliyahu Mali making some interesting statements. Rabbi Mali heads a religious school called Shirat Moshe in Jaffa. Here’s a rough translation of some of what he said:


  • "The basic principle that we have is that when we live through the 'holy war of the mitzvah,' in this case in Gaza, according to the choice of the judge [main judgement or main takeaway from Jewish law], you will not let every soul live. The meaning is very clear: if you don't kill them first, they will kill you."

  • "The terrorists of today are the children of the past, who have remained alive [the children that you left alive]. And in reality, it's the women who create these terrorists. What this means is that the definition of 'not every soul shall live' is very clear in the scriptures: it is either you or them."

  • "In the broader sense, it is not only the man between 18, 16, 20, 30 who shoots at you with a weapon, but also their new generation of the future, and also those who create the generation of the future. Because there is no difference."


When somebody asked, "What about old people?," the rabbi's response was: "There are no uninvolved people. It is the same with an elderly person, who is able to carry a weapon."


Then someone asked, "Also the same with children?" The rabbi responded: "It is the same thing. [shrugs shoulders] It is the same thing. If you save him...don't try to outsmart the Torah. The Torah does not allow you to let every soul live. Today, he is a child. Today, he is a boy. Tomorrow, he is not. The fighters, the terrorists, who are 18 today, were 8-year-olds in the previous war."


Very curious stuff he said there. He uses Jewish halakhah (rules about "the way to behave") to justify genocide. Does anyone want to live in such a zero-sum world where “the other” has to be exterminated so only your people can live? Last time I checked, the world was big enough for everyone.


Also, did Mali forget the actions of the Irgun, Haganah, and Stern Gang decades ago? Mali is right when he acknowledges that children from the previous war may be fighters now. Does he not get the hint? Bombing Gaza every few years in an effort to “mow the grass” is not a sustainable strategy.


Thankfully Rabbi Mali does not represent all of Israel and certainly not all Jews. For this type of ideology is simply not conducive to a peaceful world where we all coexist.


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