"All of the Palestinians must be killed; men, women, infants, and even their beasts." This was the religious opinion issued one week ago by Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, director of the Tsomet Institute, a long-established religious institute attended by students and soldiers in the Israeli settlements of the West Bank.Al-Ahram's source for this is a Ha'aretz article written in the wake of the Mercaz HaRav massacre. The author's conclusion was that Israeli rabbis are calling for the genocide of Palestinian Arabs, which is what the headline of the Al-Ahram article said explicitly.
The problem is, the quote is wholly fictional.
Ha'aretz says nothing of the sort, and neither did Rabbi Rosen.
What Rabbi Rosen did say, quoted in its entirety in Ha'aretz, was:
Then there was the resounding article published by the head of the Tzomet Institute, Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, who clarified, "Amalek as a concept and as the object of our battle and our hostility exists in each and every generation," and that "this does not refer to the ethnic Amalek, but to all those in whom there burns a deep and abiding hatred of Israel on a national or religious basis." The Holy One, Blessed Be He Himself, noted the rabbi, "with his own hands" confirmed the eternity of Amalek's hatred and the commandment to wage war against Amalek: "'Because the Lord has sworn by His throne.'" The hand of the Holy One, Blessed Be He, was raised in an oath on his throne that he will battle and be hostile to Amalek all over the world. We cannot, according to the rabbi, "flee from this Divine commandment even if we hide under the wings of 'the family of nations' and even if the commandment is difficult for us to bear and we have been discouraged."Al-Ahram took that quote, combined it with a quote from Samuel I 15:3 that has God telling Saul, "Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey" and conflated the two to create a complete lie, together with quote marks.
Rabbi Rosen said: "Those who slaughter students poring over their Torah, those who rain Qassams down indiscriminately on men, women, old and young, babes and sucklings - those who hail the destruction of Israel and dance on the blood, are Amalek in our generation," and therefore "only with hostility, and by conquering our humane emotions that are contrary to that, will we be victorious."
Obviously Rabbi Rosen was not referring to every Palestinian Arab, but only to terrorists and those who cheer them on. Rabbi Rosen was not issuing a halachic opinion either about whether today's Amalekites have the same legal status as those of Biblical times. Moreover, Samuel I is not a source for Jewish law.
Either way, Rabbi Rosen was not calling for genocide in any way, shape or form. He was saying simply that the kid-glove treatment that Israel is showing towards those who are sworn to destroy her is not effective nor wise - a completely accurate statement.
Not that this stops anti-semites from seizing Al-Ahram's fictional quote and publicizing it. Google now finds 3,850 websites that quote this "ruling" - all in only the past few weeks.
Given that Mr. Al-Naami specifically made up a libelous quote and attributed it to a rabbi, which is pure hateful incitement based on a lie, it appears clear that he does indeed fit within the parameters of Amalek, even if most Palestinian Arabs do not.