Israel, [Benjamin] Netanyahu stressed “will catch such killers [as those responsible for the Itamar ‘settler’ deaths] wherever they may be and cut off their hands. This manifests both our commitment to the notion of justice and to our citizen’s security.” (Ronen Medzini, Ynet, April 17, 2011)
Is Islamic Sharia law the appropriate reference to make here? Does anyone really think that such rhetoric from the Prime Minister of ‘the Jewish state’ reflects estrangement from Judaic tradition?
The reality is that when they have consolidated the power to do so, the rabbis of Judaism (you know, the religion that the notion of ‘the Jewish state’ which Bibi represents is based upon) cut off the hands of those who run afoul of their Halakhic law, including the hands of their own followers:
Politically, the position of Jews in the Christian Spanish kingdoms was the highest ever attained by Jews in any country (except some of the ta’ifas and under the Fatimids) before the 19th century. Many Jews served officially as Treasurers General to the kings of Castile, regional and general tax collectors, diplomats (representing their king in foreign courts, both Muslim and Christian, even outside Spain), courtiers and advisers to rulers and great noblemen. And in no other country except Poland did the Jewish community wield such great legal powers over the Jews or used them so widely and publicly, including the power to inflict capital punishment.
From the 11th century the persecution of Karaites (a heretical Jewish sect) by flogging them to death if unrepentant was common in Castile. Jewish women who cohabited with Gentiles had their noses cut off by rabbis who explained that ‘in this way she will lose her beauty and her non-Jewish lover will come to hate her’. Jews who had the effrontery to attack a rabbinical judge had their hands cut off. Adulterers were imprisoned, after being made to run the gauntlet through the Jewish quarter. In religious disputes, those thought to be heretics had their tongues cut out … (Israel Shahak, Jewish History, Jewish Religion, p.62)