Jerusalem - Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, the Sefardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, spoke out against the proposed death-penalty legislation during a weekly lecture Saturday night, Channel 2 reported early Sunday morning.
“There is no gain,” the rabbi said during the question-and-answer section of a weekly lecture. “We are not the Sanhedrin [an assembly forming a Jewish court during biblical times]. If there was a situation of a Jewish terrorist, killing them would be against Halakha. This has nothing to do with the right and the left, it has to do with judgment.”
The Knesset approved a bill that would facilitate a military court’s ability to sentence terrorists to death by a 52-49 vote last week. The bill, sponsored by Yisrael Beytenu and backed by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, enjoys the backing of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called the death penalty “justice in extreme situations.”
He cited an explanation of security officials that the death penalty does not offer much “benefit,” reiterating his opposition had nothing to do with political inclinations, and feared the potential repercussions of instituting the death penalty.
“Let’s say there was a terrorist… who was sentenced to death,” he posited. “Until the verdict was carried out, there would be a great uproar in the world and Jews across the world would be in danger so there is no benefit.”
Yosef, the son of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, explained, “only the Sanhedrin can issue a death sentencing.” Read more at JPost