Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett has spent a great deal of time and effort to make it clear that he did not call for IDF soldiers to obey orders in an interview Thursday night – but he would be doing everyone a much greater service if he actually did come out and advocated disobeying immoral orders, said MK Michael Ben-Ari.
In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Ben-Ari said that for anyone that calls himself a religious Zionist, there was no question whatsoever. “All those who adhere to the teachings of Rabbis like former Chief Rabbi Avraham Shapira z”tl know that the issue is clear, and that he must disobey illegal orders and encourage others to do so as well. A soldier is not a cog in a machine who just 'obeys orders.' The task of he IDF is to defend Jews, not evict them from their homes,” Ben-Ari said.
The ferocity with which Binyamin Netanyahu has attacked Bennett is an indication of the Prime Minister's intentions in his next term, said Ben-Ari. “He intends to go full-force into evicting Jews from many parts of Judea and Samaria, as he described in his Bar Ilan University policy speech several years ago.”
Bennett, said Ben-Ari, should embrace the idea of refusing illegal orders. “He must be clear that he is in favor of this, and not mumble or make excuses. We expect leaders to make clear statements, and his performance Saturday night was not clear. What he did was an example of 'pragmatism,' which has gotten us into much trouble in recent years.”
Speaking Saturday night, Bennett sought to deflect accusations that he called for IDF soldiers to disobey orders, saying that he had just been trying to express the difficulty soldiers face when being asked to throw anyone – Jewish or Arab – out of their homes. “An order to uproot an Arab village or a Jewish community is a fatal blow to the most basic human rights, and it places the soldiers before a heart wrenching dilemma between human rights on the one hand, and the obligation to obey orders on the other.
“This is an unbearable dilemma. I pray with my entire heart that such an order will not be given again, ever, but in the bottom line, if worst comes to worst, I say clearly: a soldier must obey the military's orders,” Bennett said.