Ha'aretz columnist Sefi Rachlevsky last week published another venomous column, once again expressing his hatred of all things religious ("Netanyahu is fanning the flames of religious incitement," Dec. 27, 2011). While his hatred is not illegal, the publication of lies about others is.
About Rabbi Dov Lior of Kiryat Arba, Rachlevsky wrote: "Lior has ruled that soldiers who evacuate outposts are like Nazis, and should be treated as such."
That is a very grave charge, but is it true?
Presspectiva, CAMERA's Hebrew site, investigated the matter, and found that Rabbi Lior never made the ruling that Rachlevsky cited. In a conversation with Presspectiva, the head of Rabbi Lior's bureau officially confirmed that the rabbi never made that ruling.
The fabricated ruling may have been based on a 2008 incident, when security forces demolished "Federman Farm," an illegal outpost near Kiryat Arba. Hours after the demolition, residents held a ceremony laying a new cornerstone to rebuild the outpost. Rabbi Lior, who was at the ceremony, said:
The events at the farm remind me of events that I personally experienced in Poland -- when they came to remove my family and me from my home. Then too we had no time to prepare, then too they threw us out and we did not take any clothes, and also then they carried out an inhumane, heartless act, lacking conscience, throwing out children, women, and young children from [their] home[s] for no reason, without even the pity or humanity to give them time to prepare.
While Lior did relate the demolition of an illegal outpost to his World War II experiences his Poland, he never ruled that "soldiers who evacuate outposts are like Nazis, and should be treated as such." This is pure imagination on the part of Rachlevsky, and Ha'aretz owes an apology.
For the Hebrew version of this article, visit Presspectiva.