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IDF Recruits Arrested For 'Inciting' Others to Refuse Orders

Police arrest 4 activists from Samaria suspected of 'inciting' other recruits to refuse orders to expel Jews from their homes.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 1/22/2014, 3:55 PM

Arrest (Illustrative)
Arrest (Illustrative)
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The Nationalistic Crime Unit of the Judea and Samaria police on Wednesday arrested four soldiers who were members of the "Enlisting in Faith" movement, which calls on young IDF recruits to refuse orders to expel Jews from their homes.

The four are residents of Yitzhar in Samaria, and are suspected of insubordination of military commands.

The suspects have been accused of spreading "inciteful messages" to other recruits at Bakum ("Intake and Sorting Base") in Tel Hashomer, and uploading "inciteful" videos to various websites.

In the various messages and videos the four are said to have called on IDF recruits to refuse orders to evict Jews from their homes, based on Halachik (Jewish legal) rulings in the controversial "Torat Hamelech" book. The book was a halachik discussion of the religious laws concerning killing a non-Jewish member of an enemy nation in wartime.

Police say more arrests are expected in the near future, and that the suspects will be brought to the Magistrates Court in Jerusalem later on Wednesday.

The issue of refusing orders used to be restricted to the fringes of the Israeli Left, who sometimes refused to serve in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. But the 2005 "Disengagement Plan", in which soldiers were used to conduct mass-deportation orders against the Jewish communities in Gaza and northern Samaria, ignited an ongoing debate over insubordination among the nationalist Right as well, with some arguing that the expulsion of Jewish civilians constituted an immoral order, and that as such soldiers should refuse orders to do so.

The last time the issue came up was in December 2012, when Economic Minister Naftali Bennett created a furor after he reportedly advocated refusing such orders. Bennett immediately responded, saying he did not call for soldiers to disobey orders.

Former MK Michael Ben-Ari attacked Bennett for his position at the time, saying Bennett should have stated soldiers "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."