Daily Israel Report

Rabbi Melamed Rejects ‘Hearing;’ MK Ben-Ari: Barak ’Obsessed’

Hesder yeshiva Rabbi Eliezer Melamed will not accept Barak’s summons to a “hearing” Sunday night. MK Ben-Ari says Defense Minister is “obsessed.”
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 12/13/2009, 7:20 PM / Last Update: 12/13/2009, 7:17 PM

Israel news photo

Har Bracha Hesder yeshiva Rabbi Eliezer Melamed apparently will not accept Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s summons to a “hearing” Sunday night, sources told Israel National News. They explained that Defense Minister Barak has “pre-determined his facts” and accused him of using the media to speak with the rabbi.

Barak has stated he wants to throw the yeshiva out of the Hesder system, whereby young men serve in the IDF, usually in combat units, for up to two years and study Torah for three years. The usual enlistment in the army for non-Hesder soldiers is three years.

The Defense Minister has charged that Rabbi Melamed encourages his students to refuse orders to expel Jews from their homes, actions that used to be executed by the police before the army was drawn into the expulsions of Jews in Gaza and four towns in northern Samaria four years ago.

Picture: MK Ben-Ari   Barak issued the summons Sunday morning after Rabbi Melamed did not provide an immediate answer to Matan Vilnai, Barak’s deputy, on a request to sign a letter condemning anti-expulsion protests by soldiers. The letter was drafted by national religious Rabbi Chaim Druckman.

National Union Knesset Member Dr. Michael Ben-Ari termed Defense Minister Bark as being “obsessed” with a “deviant” campaign against Rabbi Melamed.

“The threat against the Hesder yeshiva is deviant in principle and is part of ‘police state’ pressure,” MK Ben-Ari added. “The personal insults to Rabbi Melamed are designed to damage those who are faithful to the Torah and the Land of Israel, but those who sit around in pubs will not replace them.”