Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin attended the cornerstone laying ceremony for Yeshivat Neve Dekalim, which used to be housed in Gush Katif but was demolished in the 2005 “Disengagement” -- 21 years after its first building, in the Sinai city of Yamit, was destroyed in the expulsion from Sinai. It has now been rebuilt in Ashdod, and on the occasion of the completion of construction, Rivlin spoke about division, the land, and his hope that there will never be another disengagement.
"Division of the land would bring disaster upon the State of Israel and upon the two populations who reside between the Mediterranean and the Jordan," said Rivlin. "I grew up with this viewpoint, since I was able to formulate an opinion, and I have never changed it."
Rivlin said that this position has and alway will be the position of the Likud Party, saying "and this is how it will remain, elections or no elections."
With respect to the question of refusing orders Rivlin said, "I want to believe there will not be another disengagement. That there will not be another leader who will raise his hand to the Land of Israel and cut settlements and their blooming life. I want to believe that Jews will never again be expelled from their land. We all remember the pictures of rabbis and their students, leaving the halls of the Beit Midrash, with Torah scrolls in their hands being held up by IDF soldiers. "
Rivlin continued, "A civil war will never be! Menachem Begin said it aboard the Altalena, that's what we told Gush Katif, and that's what we will repeat today, and whenever the dispute threatens to tear us apart. Every issue will receive a democratic decision, there will not be disobedience, there will not be a civil war."
Rivlin also spoke of the unique nature of the yeshiva, saying every time the Jews were forced to leave their communities, "the Rosh yeshivas and their students did not succumb to despair. After the evacuation of Yamit, they stood up and rebuilt."
"Today, on this occasion, the people of Israel are with you," said Rivlin. "This is not a simple task, it is one of the most difficult tasks, mentally and faithfully, to take the pieces of life that used to exist but are no more, to preserve what was destroyed by force and to re-establish it with great hope."