Eyal Moshe Karim allows Israeli soldiers to rape non-Jewish women during war. Image Credit: Supplied

Ramallah: The soon-to-be chief military Rabbi of the Israeli army, Col. Eyal Moshe Karim, has permitted Israeli soldiers to rape non-Jewish women at the time of war in order to maintain the soldiers’ morale and “fitness”.

“It is permitted to breach the walls of modesty and satisfy the evil inclination by lying with attractive gentile (non-Jewish) women against their will, out of consideration for the difficulties faced by the soldiers and for overall success,” the newly-appointed Israeli military Rabbi was quoted by the Ynet news site as saying.

The 59-year-old colonel was chosen to replace the outgoing chief rabbi, Brigadier General Rafi Peretz, who is stepping down after six years in the position.

Karim’s statement provoked controversy in Israel, with lawmakers and women’s rights organisations calling for his appointment to be revoked.

The Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset Aida Touma Silman of the Joint Arab List said “I will contact the attorney general and oppose Karim’s appointment and I call on female and male members of the Knesset to join my request.”

“Colonel Eyal is not suitable to be the chief rabbi for the Israeli army, a body in which tens of thousands of women serve. His appalling, racist and violent statement makes women fair game,” said chairwoman of the Israeli Meretz party, Zehava Galon.

Talab Al Sanei, Palestinian member of the Knesset said Karim’s edict undoubtedly proves that Daesh’s ideology is not necessarily exclusive to Muslims. “Karim’s edict clearly shows that Daesh’s inhuman faith and rhetoric exists among certain Jews, too,” he told Gulf News.

“Karim legalises rape in the name of Judaism. When such statements come from a senior rabbi like him, they become extremely dangerous,” he said. He said that the Palestinian lawmakers in Israel will raise the issue with the Israeli attorney general and all other relevant authorities. “We will also demand the rabbi to be suspended from his new position with immediate effect,” he said. “We must expect even more from the Israeli society which is nurtured by such Fatwas of their extreme rabbis.”

Responding to the outcry, the regime forces spokesperson’s office denied that the rabbi’s edict permitted rape, saying it was an answer to a “theoretical question”.

“Rabbi Karim’s moral approach is attested by his years of military service in command, combat and rabbinical positions in which he displayed complete loyalty to the values and spirit of the force, in particular the dignity of the person,” the statement read, as quoted in Ynet.

Israeli leaders often refer to the regime force as “the most moral army in the world”.