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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Defense Minister trying to expel yeshiva from hesder program

Defense Minister Ehud Barak is trying to throw the Har Bracha yeshiva out of the hesder program after the Rosh Yeshiva (head of the yeshiva), Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, refused to condemn the refusal to obey orders to expel Jews from their homes.
Barak ordered the IDF Manpower Division to begin taking steps to remove the yeshiva from those that are part of the arrangement, under which religious students can study in yeshiva and serve a shorter military stint.

The decision will not go into effect immediately in order to give the students at the yeshiva time to make arrangements and integrate into a different yeshiva that is part of the hesder program.

Barak's office said he made the decision per the recommendation of the IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and following a meeting the defense minister held last week with hesder yeshiva heads.

"Barak views any act of insubordination severely and is not prepared to accept any deviation from what he set as a red line that cannot be crossed," the statement read. "Rabbi Melamed's statements and actions undermine Israel's democratic foundations and encouraged and incited some of his students to refuse orders."
It remains to be seen to what extent other heads of hesder yeshivas back Rabbi Melamed.
The Union of Hesder Yeshivas announced on Sunday night that heads of the schools would hold an emergency hearing in the next few days to discuss Sunday's decision by Defense Minister Ehud Barak to oust the Har Bracha Yeshiva from the program, which combines military service and Jewish studies. In a statement which followed the decision, the union noted that it expressed its opposition to such a move when it met with Barak last week.

According to the statement, "The decision constitutes a serious precedent of harming a yeshiva which is entitled to enjoy academic and Torah freedom."
The IDF has been targeting hesder for more than four years since many of those who refused to participate in the Gaza expulsion came from hesder. While many military people might argue that it's open and shut and that an army cannot tolerate soldiers refusing orders, it's not that simple. Hesder soldiers make up a large percentage of the officer corps.


At 12:29 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel's leftists fear they won't be in control of the IDF, police and prosecution for much longer so now is the time for them to strike a blow to the national religious sector while they can still do so. Its not about the rule of law; its about raw power politics in the Jewish State.


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