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June 6th, 2010
07:21 AM ET

Israel's rabbis urge investigation of flotilla incident

[cnn-video url= http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2010/06/04/israel.rabbis.flotilla.cnn%5D

CNN's Michael Schwartz explains his interviews with two Israeli rabbis about last week's Gaza flotilla incident:

Two rabbis on different ends of the Israeli political spectrum both want to see an investigation into last week’s Gaza flotilla incident that left nine Turkish citizens dead.

Rabbi Arik Asherman of Rabbis for Human Rights is a familiar figure to Palestinians in the West bank as he spends his summer helping them harvest their olives. In calling for an investigation, he invoked a story in the Torah in which a dead body is discovered in a field and no-one knows what happened.

The elders are gathered to explore the question of "not only did someone from our town (or) village kill this person,” Asherman says. “They have to ask the question did this person die because we did not help them?" That question seems to encapsulate the philosophy behind his movement.

Rabbi Avraham Gisser from the settlement of Ofra on the West Bank also believes it is important to investigate the flotilla incident. His guiding principle is that the bible does not build the case for good and bad on the basis of compassion.

“You can have pity for a son that kills his father and becomes an orphan only if you see him as an orphan,” Gisser says. “But if you check and discover he killed his father, there are other parameters of justice and morality that need to be considered.” Similarly, Gisser believes the pictures of the flotilla incident fail to tell the full story of what happened, leading to a flawed public understanding of the event.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Israel • Judaism • Violence

soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. sk

    I'd like to see what "Rabbi" Asherman what do if an attacker was bearing down on him with a knife. He would probably die pontificating about whether it would be moral to defend himself. What a moron. Go back and study the Talmud a few more times before you present yourself as "Rabbi".

    June 8, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  2. Tommy

    Reality's comments are quite eye-opening. You're probably right. It's a showdown between two religious powers with trillions in assets, and I must add, funded directly and indirectly by the US.

    June 8, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
  3. Erky

    I would like to see the same response from American evangelical leaders.
    It's amazing that these Rabi's display more Christian principles than the likes of Pat Robertson, John Hagee and the rest of them.

    June 8, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  4. Reality

    If rabbis would be honest, they would admit that Judaism is built on false foundations (there was no Adam and Eve, no Abraham and no Noah). If imams were honest, they would admit that Islam is built on false foundations (Gabriel was a mythical wingie thingie i.e. there never were any revelations to the illiterate Mohammed) . And guess what by these simple two admissions by a few thousand religious clerics, there would be peace in the Middle East!!!! Or is it more about who has the money and the power and religion is simply a scapegoat!!! e.g. Israel's banks have almost one trillion dollars in assets and the Saudi Royal family probably a few trillion dollars in oil resources and other assets.

    June 6, 2010 at 10:17 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.