'IDF to blame for price-tag atmosphere'

Rabbi Shapira urges fierce defense of Judea and Samaria hilltops.

Settlement protest AMAZING 298 (photo credit: )
Settlement protest AMAZING 298
(photo credit: )
Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, the head of the Od Yosef Chai higher yeshiva, blames the IDF for creating an atmosphere in which some Jews are following a “price tag” policy of retribution against Palestinians for the demolition of settler’s homes in Judea and Samaria.
“A price tag policy is anarchy and they [the IDF] are the anarchists,” Shapira said on Sunday night, at a solidarity event at the yeshiva in the Yitzhar settlement in Samaria.
“A person who does things that cannot be accepted by any sane person is an anarchist,” he said.
“The person who decided to do completely crazy things, to evacuate Jews and to create an atmosphere of complete insecurity among Jews in Jerusalem and in the Galilee, in the South and in Judea and Samaria – he is the person who caused this thing called a ‘price tag’ policy,” Shapira said.
He accused the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria, and by extension the IDF, of seeking retribution for wrongs it believe those in Yitzhar have committed when it issued a demolition order last week against the 13,000-square meter building that houses the yeshiva.
In January, police arrested Shapira and tried to link him to an arson attack on a mosque in Kafr Yusuf, an attack that police say was part of the price tag policy. He was released by the Jerusalem District Court judge for lack of evidence.
On Sunday night, Shapira said that it was the IDF that had implemented a price tag policy against the yeshiva.
“The person who took out the demolition order said it was because of the price tag policy; he was not embarrassed to say this,” Shapira said.
He congratulated those who have told the civil administration, “You are implementing a price tag policy.
“That price tag policy that he has condemned, he himself has generated,” Shapira said.
He called on Jews to fiercely defend the hilltops of Judea and Samaria through a sense of “mutual responsibility.”
Shapira spoke three days after the Samaria Citizens Committee issued a warning that it had been alerted to possible building demolitions in a number of outposts such as Gilad Farm and Hilltop 725 near Yitzhar.
The committee called on activists and settlers to be ready to rally to those sites to prevent the destruction, but added that it was important to refrain from violence such as throwing stones at security personnel.
During his speech in Yitzhar, Shapira said, “It can not be that when a settlement on one hilltop is attacked, the settlement on the next hilltop sleeps.
“There has to be a joint action on every hilltop in Judea and Samaria. All of Judea and Samaria has to react fiercely, according to what has happened.”
But he stopped short of calling for the implementation of a price tag policy.
“The person who calls this a price tag; it is because he is afraid of himself,” Shapira said. “We are not leading a scare campaign here, but rather one of caring, one Jew to the other. There is no price tag policy here.
“It is an exaggerated fear by those who want to to make things bad for us. They are afraid of the reaction of the healthy public and because they cannot make happen here what the goyim are demanding,” he said.
The office of the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories has said that the yeshiva was built in an area of Yitzhar designated for agriculture. It added that a demolition order was first issued against the structure when work began on the building in 1999.
The yeshiva says its structure was built with funds and help from government offices, including the Construction and Housing and the Transportation ministries. It said the building had all the necessary permits save for the final signature of the defense minister. The yeshiva added that until last Sunday, it didn’t known that a demolition order was pending against the structure, which was completed last year.
The yeshiva plans to appeal the demolition order and has asked the civil administration for 30 days to compile the documents necessary to make its case.
The civil administration has yet to respond to the yeshiva’s request.
Security sources have said that there is no plan at this time to move against the yeshiva, but that they wanted to make sure that that all the necessary steps preliminary to the demolition order being implemented had been carried out.
The yeshiva must be given the right of appeal before the order can be executed.