A prominent Israeli rabbi known to have advocated genocide in Gaza also advised that soldiers may rape during wartime, it has emerged.
Shmuel Eliyahu, chief rabbi of Safad in present-day Israel, approved rape by the military in a 2002 article that has gone largely unnoticed.
Writing on Kipa.co.il, a popular Hebrew-language website catering for religious Jews, Eliyahu contended that Israeli soldiers would lose their motivation to wage war if they are not allowed to rape non-Jewish women.
The comments were made five years before Eliyahu recommended that Israel should use massive force in Gaza.
In 2007, he said that Israel “must kill 100,000, even a million” people in Gaza if that was necessary to stop Palestinian resistance fighters from firing rockets.
Eliyahu’s 2002 comments on rape were highlighted in a recent Facebook post by Ruhama Weiss, a Jerusalem-based academic.
“Don’t weaken his spirit”
In a column called “Ask the Rabbi,” Eliyahu suggested that a biblical law authorized …