A book by hardline Israeli rabbis justifying the murder of non-Jews will not have to face charges of inciting violence, the Jerusalem High Court said.
Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday that the court ruled there was “no basis” for the charges, upholding a 2012 decision by Israel’s Attorney General to not pursue a criminal investigation.
The Torat Hamelech (The King’s Torah) was published in 2009 and sparked controversy and a debate on free speech by arguing that Jewish law allowed, in some cases, for Jewish people to kill non-Jews without being to court.
According to The Jerusalem Post, the book states that anyone who opposes “our kingdom” or encourages attacks against them can be killed, as can children “if there is a good chance they will grow up to be like their evil parents.”
The Attorney General’s 2012 decision argued that the book was a religious study and not aimed at encouraging individuals to violence, despite concern within Israeli society that it could lead to violence against Palestinians.
Several Jewish groups objected the groups, as did senior Rabbis, including the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, which petitioned the High Court to question why there have been no investigation for racial incitement.
Israeli blog Reform Judaism, which supported the petition, wrote in 2012 that the book was “a manual on how Jewish law can justify hate and violence.”
“When the Mufti of Jerusalem gave a sermon about killing Jews, the State opened a criminal investigation in less than a week,” the blog wrote. “When rabbis widely distribute their manual for violence to the masses, the State remains silent.”