Last week, one of Israel’s leading rabbis, David Batzri, came under investigation for inciting racial hatred against Arabs, making statements which should shake any conscious Jew to the core of their being:
You cannot mix pure with impure. Of course we have to keep apart from all the other nations. You must stand in the breach and prevent this. One cannot mix light with darkness. The people of Israel are pure. The Arabs are a nation of donkeys. They are an evil plague, an evil Satan, an evil pestilence.
What heinous act could have possibly led a man of Rav Batzri’s stature to make such irresponsible remarks? No more than the opening of a joint Arab-Jewish day school in Jerusalem.
In other disturbing news, on Purim, here in Jerusalem, several Hareidim attempted to beat two Arab taxi drivers without provocation.
And then the most shocking news — a survey released late last week shows that a majority of Israeli Jews support racial segregation, the number in favor rising sharply in the most religious communities.
As tensions heat up here in Israel, and abroad in North American and European Jewish communities which identify strongly with Israel, direct action becomes necessary to stem the tide of such hatred.
Today I am writing to ask the Jewish educators and scholars who frequent this site to send to me as much information as you have available on rabbinic and halakhic positions concerning racism to be compiled and presented on Radical Torah and later published as a pamphlet in both Hebrew and English.
We have begun assembling information from Radical Torah’s regular contributors, but I wanted to open the floor to everyone who may have knowledge to share on this subject.
If you have any information relevant to this issue, please contact us.