West Bank rabbi's passionate appeal to price tag attackers

A rabbi of a West Bank settlement has written to "the new Hasomeans" in a bid to tackle the rise in extremism.

In the wake of the rash of "price tag" attacks by Jewish settlers on Palestinian mosques, cars and property, Efrat’s Rabbi Shlomo Riskin called on Jews in the West Bank to cease their behaviour before it was too late.

Rabbi Riskin wrote in a piece in Ha’aretz that the price tag rioters saw themselves "as similar to the ancient heroes of Judea, who fought against the Greek-Syrian rabble that desecrated the Temple".

But he said that those who considered themselves to be "the Maccabees who do not bow their heads before the Hellenising priestly establishment,” were making “a fundamental mistake".

Rabbi Riskin said that the extremists, who viewed the IDF soldiers of today as equivalent to the Greeks, had robbed him of pride in his city and in the land of Israel.

"Do you have any idea how great that 'portion of God' is in Col. Ran Kahane, the commander of the Ephraim Brigade, and in each and every one of his soldiers, who daily risk their lives to defend yours and those of your families from the terrorists who are working to take them?" he said.

"How do you dare to desecrate these holy people? How did it enter your minds to take on the role of our enemies, the terrorists?"

He added: "You have turned the term 'settler' into a dirty word," and called on the extremists to repent while they could.

Last updated: 10:45am, December 22 2011