Dov Lior, the chief rabbi of the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba, appears to have rushed to show that extremists can be found on every side of a massacre. After the Paris attacks, Lior rushed forward to tell the world that the attacks were actually directed by God as payment for what Europeans “did to our people 70 years ago.” It does not seem to matter to Lior that France was one of the first to fight against Germany and was left in ruins by the Nazis. It does not even matter that this view of God would make the almighty as morally bankrupt and vicious as ISIS. In Lior’s twisted mind, murderous Islamic extremists were used by God to kill innocent people for the treatment of Jews in the 1940s. Makes perfect sense. It is truly impressive that extremists like Lior cannot resist seeing divine purpose in every act, even using ISIS as a vehicle for divine justice for Jews.
Lior made the statement during the funeral of an Israeli father and son gunned down by Palestinian terrorists. He used that moment to comment on the massacre of hundreds of innocent people by reportedly saying that “The wicked ones in blood-soaked Europe deserve it for what they did to our people 70 years ago.” Jewish extremists will have to fight with Islamic extremists in taking credit for the massacre since ISIS claims it was the will of Allah.
It is not clear how, in Lior’s alleged view of divine meaning in massacres, the killing of Jews by Palestinians fits into this “hand of God” theory. I assume that that killing of Jews is not meant as divine punishment for the killing of Jews but Lior will have to address that lingering question with a long list of other questions following his alleged comments.
Lior previously attacked global condemnation by saying that God allowed the killing civilian non-Jews in times of war. Last year, he wrote and published a letter saying that Jewish law permits destroying the entire Gaza Strip to bring peace to the south of the country: ““in the case of Gaza, it would be permitted for the defense minister to even order the destruction of all of Gaza so that the South will no longer suffer and to prevent injury to our people, who have been suffering for so long from the enemies surrounding us.”
He added a view that clearly embraced acts defined as war crimes:
“At a time of war, the nation under attack is allowed to punish the enemy population with measures it finds suitable, such as blocking supplies or electricity, as well as shelling the entire area according to the army minister’s judgment, and not to needlessly endanger soldiers but rather to take crushing deterring steps to exterminate the enemy.”
Indeed, Lior dismissed suggestions of human rights: “Talk of humanitarianism and consideration are nothing when weighed against saving our brothers in the South and across the country and the restoration of quiet to our land.”
Kiryat Arba is cited by various international groups as an illegal settlement under international law. While the Israeli government maintains that the Fourth Geneva Convention does not apply to Palestinian territories, he international community views the settlement as violating the convention. Putting aside this controversy, the fact that the people of this settlement would maintain such a person as the Chief Rabbi is truly shocking.