Wallerstein's post on Yesha Council at risk

Wallersteins post on Ye

(photo credit:)
(photo credit: )
Settler leaders are set to consider whether Pinchas Wallerstein can remain in his post as director-general of the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip because he objected to the protest actions of Shimshon Battalion soldiers at a swearing-in ceremony last week. On Thursday night, at the Western Wall ceremony, soldiers from the battalion held up a banner pledging not to evict anyone from the site of the former Homesh settlement in northern Samaria, which was destroyed during the 2005 disengagement. Wallerstein had chastised the soldiers for breaking rank at the ceremony, even as he said that the IDF should not clear activists from the Homesh site. Rabbi Elyakim Levanon of the Eilon Moreh settlement called on Wallerstein to step down from his post and threatened to resign from his position on the council if Wallerstein remained. Levanon on Saturday night appealed to each and every soldier to publicly express his opinions, while slamming Wallerstein for "severely exploiting his status, despite knowing that he holds minority opinions within the council." Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday praised Wallerstein's response. "I regard the soldiers' actions at the Western Wall with severity, but the harsh criticism voiced by Wallerstein is the right voice of the settlers in Judea and Samaria," Barak said in a statement. Wallerstein told The Jerusalem Post that he stood by his statement and would respect whatever decision the council made.