Some of the leading hard-right rabbis in the country have called on security personnel to disobey orders if instructed to evacuate the Amona settlement outpost.
The rabbis include Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg, a leading inspiration for many religious radicals, Rabbi Dov Lior, former chief rabbi of Kiryat Arba, and Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, founder and director of the Temple Institute in Jerusalem.
In their declaration, the rabbis called on the general public to protest against the evacuation and destruction of the Amona outpost, and on the security forces not to carry out orders to do so.
“We call on the personnel of the security forces to act in accordance with justice and righteousness and not to blindly carry out any order,” the rabbis declared.
“Jewish law [holds that], ‘If the decree of a king is to abolish a commandment one does not accede to him,’ and even according to the laws of the state one should not fulfill an order which is manifestly unlawful,” they continued.
Ginsburg is president of the Od Yosef Hai Yeshiva in the Yitzhar settlement and has long advocated for hard-line policies against the Palestinians.
In 2003, he was charged with incitement to racism against Arabs over his book Order of the Day – Get to the Root of the Problem
, although the charges were dropped after he issued a letter of clarification. He also wrote a chapter in a book praising Baruch Goldstein, who massacred 29 Palestinians in the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron in 1994.
Lior also supported the proposal for soldiers to refuse orders during the evacuation of the settlements in the Gaza Strip in 2005, and issued a ruling saying that it is forbidden to rent a house to Arabs in Israel or to employ Arabs in 2008, among other controversial positions and rulings.
Ariel is a former Knesset candidate for the banned, extremist Kach party.
Other rabbis signatory to the letter were Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, the leading pupil of Ginsburg and co-dean of the Od Yosef Hai Yeshiva; the municipal chief rabbi of Kiryat Motzkin, Rabbi David Druckman; Rabbi Simcha Shtetner, president of the Nahalat Yisrael institutions; and Rabbi Daniel Dov Hacohen Stavski.
At the end of November, more than 100 religious-Zionist rabbis, including liberals, moderates and hard-liners, signed a declaration calling for civilians to flock to Amona and nonviolently oppose the evacuation of the outpost.