Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Yesh Atid chairman MK Yair Lapid spoke out strongly on Wednesday against rabbinical influence in the army, with his comments coming against a background of strained relations with the rabbinical leadership of the national-religious community.
Speaking at the 11th Annual International Conference of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, Lapid referenced the ongoing campaign of the conservative wing of the national-religious community against mixed-gender service in the IDF and the enlistment of religious women.
Earlier this month, senior national-religious leader Rabbi Shlomo Aviner called on yeshiva students not to enlist in the IDF because of concerns regarding mixed-gender service, and Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu backed him up and called for the IDF chief of staff to be fired.
“The army has one chain of command, and only one,” said Lapid at the INSS conference on Wednesday.
“Rabbis are not part of that chain of command. The place of rabbis is in the community, in the synagogue and in yeshiva. The IDF will continue to draft women for all roles. We are proud of these soldiers. The IDF needs to show zero-tolerance to people who refuse to serve and to anyone who calls on them to refuse. Draft refusal will not be accepted, not from the right and not from the left.”