Riots that erupted over the arrest of Rabbi Lior, who was taken in for police interrogation earlier this week, are expected to continue. Police intend to detain Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, the son of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (Talmudic scholar and spiritual leader of the Shas political party), within the next 48 hours. A day after his own arrest sparked street protests and arrests in Jerusalem, Rabbi Dov Lior said, "The arrest was a pre-planned ambush that resembled arrests made by the Bolsheviks and KGB."
The arrest warrant for Rabbi Lior was issued four months ago on suspicion of incitement to racism and violence. The warrant came after Rabbi Lior wrote an introduction and endorsement for the book "Torat Hamelech," which is believed to contain entire sections justifying the killing of non-Jews. Rabbi Lior was arrested Monday and was released after a brief interrogation.
Rabbi Lior commented on the allegations and insisted that he should not be subjected to an investigation. "Had they summoned me believing that I stole public funds, then of course I would have given myself up to the police; but I did not break the law. I granted my scholarly approval to a publication; I expressed my opinion regarding a specific topic and I do not see that as a crime," Rabbi Lior said. He added that he was surprised by the allegations against him for endorsing "Torat Hamelech."
"I was told that I was suspected of inciting violence and racism. In response I say that such an accusation against a rabbi is libel. Rabbis are never instigators of violence or racism. The subject matter of the book deals with Halachic rulings regarding wartime actions and the harming of civilians. According to the Torah, there is no restriction on harming the enemy, even if the enemy's civilians are hurt in the process. The Torah however does not call for a premeditated attack on civilians but only justifies it as expected wartime collateral damage. The book deals with scenarios such as these and does not promote violence or racism," the rabbi said.
Rabbi Yaakov Yosef received the news that police also intend to question him for his endorsement of "Torat Hamelech" and said, "If they want to, they can arrest me." Commenting on the investigation of Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi Yosef said, "Israel is a Bolshevik State." In a Channel 10 news interview Rabbi Yosef said, "The Jewish Brigade [a department within the Shabak, Israel's General Security Service] is foolish. I thought Danino [Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino] had already learned his lesson. Is this a way to treat Jews? Rabbi Dov Lior is a Torah giant, an 80 year old Jew."