Mystical sage, son to be probed for suspected racist incitement

Reuters/March 21, 2006
By Yval Yoaz Haaretz

The state prosecutor on Tuesday ordered police to open a criminal investigation into Rabbi David Batzri, a prominent sage preaching Jewish mysticism, who is suspected of racist incitement.

Police will also investigate Batzri's son, Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri.

The prosecution's order came in the wake of comments made by the suspects during a conference held some two months ago in Jerusalem's Pat neighborhood.

According to suspicions, the Batzris allegedly made the racist comments at the conference which was held to rally support against the establishment of a bilingual school for Jewish and Arab students in the heart of the Pat neighborhood.

Rabbi David Batzri said, "the establishment of such a school is a despicable and sinful act. An Arab cannot contaminate what is pure. It is forbidden to blend darkness and light. The nation of Israel is pure and the Arabs are a nation of donkeys. They are an evil disaster, an evil devil, and a nasty affliction."

Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri said, "The Arabs are donkeys and beasts. They want to take our girls. They are endowed with true filthiness. There is pure and there is impure and they are impure."

Following an appeal made by the Israel Religious Action Center, Deputy State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan ordered a criminal probe of the two rabbis with the support of Attorney General Menachem Mazuz.

Batzri: Wrath of God behind bird flu

Batzri also said the outbreak of bird flu in Israel is God's punishment for calls in election ads to legalize gay marriages.

"The Bible says that God punishes depravity first through plagues against animals and then in people," Batzri said in a religious edict quoted by his son.

Batzri said he hoped the deaths of hundreds of thousands of turkeys and chickens would help atone for what he called the sins of left-wing political parties, Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri told Reuters a week before the Knesset election.

The bird flu outbreak stemmed from far-left political parties "strengthening and encouraging homosexuality," Batzri's son quoted him as saying.

The Green Leaf Party aired an election commercial depicting two brides kissing. Some campaign advertisements are also calling for the legalization of same-sex marriages.

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