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Rabbis Call for Harsh Protest over Givat HaUlpana

Rabbis lament "destruction for destruction's sake." Will homes be sealed off instead of moved?
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 6/11/2012, 1:36 PM

Protesting the planned eviction.
Protesting the planned eviction.
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Rabbis from the Derech HaEmunah movement issued a call to the public Monday in which they asked people to take action against the government's intention to destroy the Givat HaUlpana homes and evict 30 families.

"We call for the cancellation of the decree of destroying the homes at Givat HaUlpana in Beit El," they wrote. "This is a decree that the public cannot abide by. It is contrary to the Bible and human morality. It is destruction for destruction's sake."

"We call upon the public to carry out a harsh and meaningful protest that will bring about a change in the government's decision, which endangers thousands of homes that have been built in the settlements," the rabbis added, with the caveat that "No violence should be used against the security forces or against the settlers, G-d forbid."

The letter is signed by Rav Haim Shteiner, Rav David Chai HaCohen, Rav Iser Klonsky, Rav Avi Smotritz, Rav Yosef Artziel, Rav Ben Dahan and Rav Shimon Cohen.

Meanwhile, the daily newspaper Yisrael Hayom reported Monday that the state may ask for a postponement of the destruction at Beit El, following intensive contacts between the settlers and representatives on behalf of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, including Minister Gilad Erdan.

On Friday, a meeting was held with the Rabbi of Beit El, Rav Zalman Melamed, who expressed opposition on behalf of the residents to plans for demolishing the homes – and also to the plan to dismantle and relocate them.

The residents suggested that the homes be made unusable after their eviction, either by sealing them off, removing their roofs or destroying the staircases. It appears that Netanyahu may favor this option, according to the report.

The government reportedly told the residents that the relocation of the homes will take one year. After this time, the government promised, the residents will be able to return to their relocated homes.