Daily Israel Report

Pre-Military Academy Heads to Meet With Peres

The heads of Israel's pre-military academies are slated to call on President Peres to strive for national unity amid growing tensions.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 12/14/2011, 9:44 PM

President Shimon Peres
President Shimon Peres
Flash 90

The heads of Israel's pre-military academies [mechinot] in Judea and Samaria are scheduled to meet with President Shimon Peres on Thursday.

The delegation is expected to call on Peres to exert himself in strengthening national unity after a riot by some 50 angry Jewish youth at the Ephraim Brigade headquarters in Samaria late Monday.

The riot, which resulted in clashes between soldiers and some fifty youth who hurled Molotov cocktails and stones at IDF vehicles, erupted after rumors began to circulate that demolition orders would be carried out against Jewish communities in the night.

In a separate incident the Ephraim Brigade commander was injured when stones were hurled at his car.

Scores of students from the Mechinot staged a rally in support of the IDF outside the Ephraim Brigade headquarters following Monday's incidents.

Furor and heartache has mounted in communities in Judea and Samaria in recent years as the political echelon has systemically used the IDF as a tool in a partisan political struggle against the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria.

During the 2005 disengagement from Gaza observers predicted using the IDF destroy Jewish communities would lead to estrangement of idealistic young people from IDF who were shocked to see soldiers executing orders that destroyed their lives and ran counter to the Zionist principles that forged the modern state of Israel.

Many of the young people became convinced that the peaceful, quiet protests that preceded the disengagement were a tactical mistake, because the government ignored them, although hundreds of thousands of Israelis took to the streets against the disastrous move.

Despite this, youth from Judea and Samaria continue to serve in the IDF at higher per capita rates than other segments of the population - often through the framework of Mechina and Hesder programs.

Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar joined rabbis from the Samaria Rabbinic Council in condemning both the riot at the Ephraim Brigade headquarters and the misuse of the IDF as a political cudgel in Israel's internal disagreements.

Among those slated to meet with Peres are: Karnei Shomron Yeshiva High School head Rabbi Zev Karov; Yatir Mechina head Rabbi Moshe Hagar;  Benei David Mechina heads Rabbi Eli Sadan and Rabbi Yigal Levinstein; Rabbi Avi Gisser of Ofra; "Chemed" head Abraham Lipshitz; Yesha Council head Danny Dayan; and Binyamin Regional Council head Avi Roeh.