Leading religious Zionist rabbis convened late Sunday night in Jerusalem and reiterated their support for soldiers who refuse to follow IDF orders calling to evacuate Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.
"Our position is that we oppose all insubordination that impedes the IDF's mission of protecting the Jewish people," said Kochav Ya'acov's Rabbi Mordechai Rabinovitch, who is also the spokesman for the rabbis who call themselves "The Path of Faith" (Derech Emuna).
"But in order for the IDF to be healthy and strong it needs to have a clear moral basis for everything it does and should never be used as an instrument of destruction against the Jewish people," he said. "Soldiers who obey such orders [to evacuate and destroy Jewish settlements] are more dangerous than those who do not, because they are listening to orders that are illegal and immoral and are behaving like robots."
The rabbis who attended the conference included Kiryat Arba-Hebron Chief Rabbi Dov Lior, Beit El's Rabbi Zalman Melamed, Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, Bat Yam's Rabbi David Chai Hakohen, Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira of the Ramat Gan Hesder Yeshiva, and Rabbi Michael Hershkovitz of Mercaz Harav Yeshiva, all of whom are members of the National Union's Rabbinic Council.
An additional 43 rabbis were added to the council.
The rabbis also spoke out against the proposed Gilad Schalit prisoner swap.
During the meeting several IDF reserve officers presented the rabbis with security data revealing the dangers of releasing Palestinian terrorists in exchange for Schalit.
"The officers showed us how the proposed deal could be extremely disastrous for Israel," said Rabinovitch.
"The general attitude among us is that [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu is capitulating to pressure from the Left. There is no moral justification to free Schalit if we need to endanger every Jew living in Israel to do it," said Rabinovitch, referring to the Hamas demand to release hundreds of terrorists, including those responsible for the deaths of Israelis, as a precondition for Schalit's release.
"This is especially true considering the fact that there are other ways of freeing Schalit that have not been exhausted yet," he said.