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Ketzaleh: Take Politics Out of IDF

MK Katz: The IDF pushed Shimshon batallion soldiers into a corner. SOS Israel to award them financially.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 10/23/2009, 1:14 PM / Last Update: 10/24/2009, 6:50 PM

Yoni Kempinsky

The protest at the Kotel Thursday night has received enthusiastic support from some religious-Zionists.

Chairman of the National Union MK Yaakov Katz (Ketzaleh) reacted to the news by saying that “politics should be taken out of the IDF. If saying that there should not be evictions at Homesh is political, then evictions at Homesh must be political, too. The heroes of the Shimshon Battalion were pushed into an impossible corner by being forced to desecrate the Sabbath and to cause suffering to their loving brothers at Homesh."

Referring to a recent directive from the Central Command that soldiers should not accept invitations to eat Sabbath meals at the homes of residents of Judea and Samaria, he added, "An IDF Commander's speech contradicts the IDF's spirit and its values... The imposition of an artificial separation between soldiers and settlers by forbidding the soldiers from having Sabbath dinners at their homes - something that has been an IDF tradition for 42 years - one can expect these things to bring about an insurrection.”

The head of SOS Israel (Save the Land of Israel), Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe, decided Thursday that the group would give a cash prize to the soldiers of the Shimshon battalion as well as a certificate of appreciation.

A black flag
MK Nachman Shai (Kadima) said that “a black flag waves over the banner held up by the Kfir Regiment soldiers who declared that they would refuse an order to evict a settlement, should they be given such an order.”

Shai, a member of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, penned a letter to the Minister of Defense, saying in part, "The soldiers of Kfir presented the IDF with a grave challenge. The IDF has no room for soldiers who disobey orders. I expect that as Minister of Defense, you will instruct the Chief of Staff to take urgent legal and disciplinary measures against them in order to make it clear that the State of Israel is a state of law and soldiers are subject to the law too.”