Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Shin Bet urges Israeli government to stop funding yeshiva in settlement Yitzhar

Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira of the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva in the settlement Yitzhar during one of his brief detainments.

Haaretz reports that the Israeli Shin Bet security service is urging the Education Ministry to immediately halt funding to the Od Yosef Hai (Yosef still lives)Yeshiva in the settlement of Yitzhar, near Nablus. According to intelligence information senior rabbis in the yeshiva are encouraging their students to attack Arabs.

The head of the yeshiva, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, was filmed in the past accompanying some of his students to a nearby Arab village; the students then threw stones while the rabbi looked on. Shapira is the author of the book 'The King's Torah', which, among other things, says that Jewish law permits the killing of non-Jewish children if there is a chance that they will grow up to be enemies of the Jewish people. Shapira was briefly detained and questioned in July 2010 in connection with the book, and then released. He was also briefly detained in December 2009 after he was suspected of links to an arson attack on a mosque. Yitzhar is one of the settlements which is constantly in te ne beacuase of attacks bvy its inhabitants on nearby Arab villages. The settlement is situated in between the villages Asira, Burin, Madama and Huwara.

Od Yosef Hai is a general name for several different institutions, among them a yeshiva high school, a yeshiva gedola (post-high school yeshiva), a kollel (yeshiva for married men) and the publishing house that issued "The King's Torah," among other works.
The institute gets funding from four different line items in the state budget. In 2009, the Education Ministry gave it NIS 468,000 for the yeshiva high school and NIS 847,000 for the yeshiva gedola. The yeshiva also got money from the Social Affairs Ministry for a project to rehabilitate ultra-Orthodox drop-outs (NIS 707,000 in 2009), plus NIS 156,000 to operate a dormitory.
The army's GOC Central Command, Major General Avi Mizrahi, recently issued restraining orders that forbid several students affiliated with the yeshiva to enter the West Bank. This decision was based on what security sources termed well-founded suspicions that these students had been involved in attacks on Arabs, including "price tag" attacks on Arab property (so called because they seek to deter the army from razing houses in the settlements ) and the torching of mosques in nearby Palestinian villages.
The New York Times went through public records in the United States and Israel last year and identified at least 40 American groups that have collected more than $200 million in tax-deductible gifts for Jewish settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem over the last decade. The money, The Times said,  goes mostly to schools, synagogues, recreation centers and the like, legitimate expenditures under the tax law. But it has also paid for more legally questionable commodities: housing as well as guard dogs, bulletproof vests, rifle scopes and vehicles to secure outposts deep in occupied areas.

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