and there is a dispute between Rashi and Ibn Ezra about how to understand this prohibition. Rashi writes:
|And you shall not set up for yourself any monument: A monument of one stone, to sacrifice on it even to Heaven.||ולא תקים לך מצבה: מצבת אבן אחת, להקריב עליה אפילו לשמים:|
|which [the Lord your God] hates: God has commanded you to make an altar of stones and an altar of earth. This, however, He hates, because this was a [religious] statute of the Canaanites, and although it was dear to Him in the days of the Patriarchs, now He hates it, since these [people] made it a statute for idolatry. (See Sifrei)||אשר שנא: מזבח אבנים ומזבח אדמה צוה לעשות, ואת זו שנא כי חק היתה לכנענים. ואף על פי שהיתה אהובה לו בימי האבות עכשיו שנאה, מאחר שעשאוה אלו חק לעבודה זרה:|
Mekorei Rashi says to see Sifrei, as well as Tosafot on Avodah Zarah 11a.
The Sifrei reads:
ולא תקים לך מצבה אשר שנא ה׳ אלהיך • אין לי אלא מצבה (אשירה) עבודת כוכבים מנין? ש
ודין הוא. ומה מציבה שאהובה לאבות שנואה לבנים, (אשירה) עבודת כוכבים ששנואה לאבות אינו דין שתהא שנואה לבנים
While there are clearly girsological issues here which might affect the target of the kal vachomer, certainly the assumption regarding the source is that this matzeiva which is hated is a regular matzeiva for Hashem.
Indeed, perhaps the juxtaposition with the asheira in the previous pasuk promotes this idea, for this seems to be an asheira planted right beside Hashem's altar, and thus perhaps as a decoration dedicated to Hashem.
Meanwhile, Ibn Ezra writes:
כב ולא תקים לךמצבה: לע״ז והעד אשר שנא , רקמצבה שלא לע״ז איננה אסורה, והעד הנאמןבפרשת וישלח יעקב
He refers to Bereishit 35:14, where Yaakov erects a matzeiva:
|יד וַיַּצֵּב יַעֲקֹב מַצֵּבָה, בַּמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר-דִּבֶּר אִתּוֹ--מַצֶּבֶת אָבֶן; וַיַּסֵּךְ עָלֶיהָ נֶסֶךְ, וַיִּצֹק עָלֶיהָ שָׁמֶן.||14 And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He spoke with him, a pillar of stone, and he poured out a drink-offering thereon, and poured oil thereon.|
Of course, Rashi and Sifrei are also aware of this, and note the distinction. Admittedly, it is easier to have a constant Divine attitude towards matzievot, but it is workable either way. In terms of the connection to ashera in context, it would not necessarily be directed to Hashem. If she is the chief consort to El, the ashera could well be entirely idolatrous, just accompanying the altar of Hashem. And the pillars can be towards idolatry as well.
What about Ibn Ezra's other point, that the word asher means that there are some God hates and some God likes? Well, there are two ways of interpreting the word asher. Let us consider some English sentences.
(a) Please take out the garbage that stinks.
(b) Please take out the garbage, which stinks.
In sentence (a), there is perhaps the implication that there are multiple bags of garbage, and my wife is asking me to select from among them the garbage bag that stinks, but not the garbage that does not stink.
In sentence (b), there is simply a request to take out the garbage. And there is additional information that the garbage stinks. It might well be that all garbage stinks.
Ibn Ezra is interpreting the asher as in sentence (a). Thus, only the specific matzeiva that Hashem hates is forbidden. Rashi is interpreting the asher as in sentence (b). Thus, it is a general command not to have a matzeiva, followed by a related piece of information about matzeivot, that Hashem hates them.
Thus, Ibn Ezra is not necessarily better "peshat" here. In fact, I prefer Rashi's explanation slightly as a matter of the grammar of the pasuk. The explanation that Hashem soured on these pillars even toward Himself because of idolatrous uses is possible, but not compulsory. We do see another form of worship fall out of favor, namely the private bama.