By JPOST.COM STAFFPublished: NOVEMBER 25, 2009 12:34Advertisement
A string of incidents of insubordination in the IDF, in which soldiers displayed banners against evacuation of West Bank settlements reached the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Wednesday.
OC Manpower Division Maj.-Gen. Avi Zamir said the IDF and the defense establishment had presented state prosecutors with complaints regarding the incidents.
The senior officer quoted several rabbinical tracts written by right-wing rabbis praising insubordination as a virtue.
"I demanded that the heads of the union examine the values being taught and whether the educational level is adequate.
"We will decide according to each yeshiva's position on these issues. There shouldn't be a rift in the model of the 'people's military," he said, warning against generalizations targeting the entire arc of Zionist yeshivas.
Zamir said he had held meetings with the heads of the hesder yeshiva union, in which he demanded the rabbis issue stern condemnations of the incidents. "In the meeting I presented the incidents in all their severity, as perceived by the military. I asked whether it would be correct to recruit students in yeshivas where they teach these thingsâ€¦ I demanded action, not just words of condemnation," Zamir said at the FADC.
He is slated to meet the rabbis again on Thursday.
Last week, soldiers in the Kfir Brigade hoisted banners saying one of battalions in the brigade would refuse to evacuate settlements, should they be given the order.
There are currently 62 hesder yeshivas, which Zionist orthodox youth join before their military service. Each year, some 1,300 recruits are hesder yeshiva students.
Rabbi David Stav, spokesman of the union of hesder yeshivas, said that by and large, most yeshiva heads condemn political expression within a military framework.
"It is not true that hesder yeshiva soldiers were present in all the [protest] events. We cannot allow a call to limit academic freedom to be the product [of this committee], when heads of universities enjoy it. We cannot have a situation in which a yeshiva leader cannot speak his mind. If he breaks the law, such a leader can be prosecuted."
"There should be a condemnation of the phenomenon on general principle," Stav added.
MK Ophir Paz-Pines, present at Wednesday's session, called the instances of organized and coordinated insubordination a "cancer" that would "spread if we don't kill it on time."
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