You're banned, May tells Israeli rabbi

By Jennifer Lipman, August 18, 2011
Controversial, and now banned from the UK: Rabbi Elitzur

Controversial, and now banned from the UK: Rabbi Elitzur

An Israeli rabbi has been denied entry to Britain because of a book in which he allegedly justifies terrorist violence.

Rabbi Yosef Elitzur has been told he cannot enter the UK for three years because of his controversial 2009 book Law of the King. But the rabbi said he had had no plans to visit Britain when he received the letter from the Home Office telling him of the ban.

His book, co-authored with Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, looked at Jewish law and the rules of war, but also said Jews were permitted to kill non-Jews and claimed the Jews would "win" by "violence against the Arabs".

According to Israeli website the Jewish Voice, the Home Office told Rabbi Elitzur that anyone who wrote, published or distributed material "fomenting or justifying terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs and seeking to provoke others to commit terrorist acts" would be excluded from Britain.

The Home Office letter said the exclusion was a personal decision taken by Home Secretary Theresa May in July. It said Rabbi Elitzur's presence was not conducive to the public good, adding: "You are instructed not to travel to the UK as you will be refused admission on arrival."

A spokesman for the Home Office said: "We can confirm that Mr Elitzur has been excluded from the UK on grounds of unacceptable behaviour.

"The government will refuse people access to the UK if we believe they might seek to undermine our society. Coming here is a privilege that we refuse to extend to those who seek to subvert our shared values."

Rabbi Elitzur has also encountered problems in Israel. Police investigated his writing and both the authors were arrested last year at the Yizhar settlement on suspicion of incitement to racism and violence and running "racist"publication.

Nevertheless, a third edition of the book is set for publication in the near future.

    Last updated: 11:50am, August 18 2011