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Shas Leader to Bibi: Save Migron

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef steps into ‘outpost’ fray, calls on Prime Minister to legalize Jewish communities.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 11/9/2011, 12:02 PM

Netanyahu and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef
Netanyahu and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef
Flash 90

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, a leading figure in the religious world and the spiritual head of Shas, has stepped into the debate over the fate of several Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. He has called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu not to destroy the communities, but rather to find a way to legalize them.

Rabbi Yosef met Wednesday with Rabbi Yaakov Shapira, head of the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva, with Shas minister Eli Yishai and representatives of Judea and Samaria towns to discuss the issue.

Rabbi Yosef asked to hear the various claims in the case, including the Palestinian Authority claim to Arab ownership of the land on which one town, Migron, was built. Upon hearing that PA Arabs no longer claim ownership and that Israeli leftists are the ones pushing for demolition, the rabbi termed the far-left groups in question “wicked” and called to support Migron.

He explained his decision to turn to Netanyahu, saying, “I respect the Prime Minister. He has done good things, and stands up to the world when it comes to our needs. He needs to solve this matter, and with G-d’s help [the demolition] will not occur.”

Binyamin Regional Council head Avi Roeh was pleased by the results of the meeting. “With the struggles and uncertainty, a meeting like this is important first and foremost for giving us strength,” he said.

“In addition, this is another important source of pressure on the Prime Minister and those around him… In recent days we’ve seen a positive trend in their desire to find solutions, as they understand that beginning a process of demolitions is not a good idea,” he added.

The government filed a request to the Supreme Court this week asking to delay its official response in the matter of Migron and other Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria threatened with demolition. Officials said they need another two days to come to an agreement regarding their position.