Ex-MK Supports Rabbi on Trial for Incitement: 'I Said the Same'
Professor Aryeh Eldad, former MK and Director of Professors for a Strong Israel, condemned the Tuesday indictment against Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpo and Shabtai Weintraub. The "crime" the two were accused of was inciting insubordination against IDF orders to expel Jews.
"When I was an MK in the National Union (party), on the eve of the Disengagement I called for refusing orders and non-violent civil disobedience," Eldad told Arutz Sheva. "It's not known to me whether then or now they considered putting me on trial."
Eldad renewed his call on soldiers to refuse orders to expel Jews from their homes, stating "for reasons of ideological conscientious objection, soldiers must refuse taking part in an expulsion."
Rather than foisting such missions on the IDF, with its mandatory draft, Eldad argued "if it's a case of enforcing the construction and planning laws or Civil Administration orders, the Israel police are the ones who need to enforce the law."
"The IDF must not be harnessed to political missions," emphasized Eldad. "If they want to destroy a home let them send the police and not use the IDF for such a thing."
Eldad noted that former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, initiator of the 2005 Disengagement that expelled all Jews from Gaza and destroyed several Jewish communities in Samaria, said soldiers should tell their commanders, if they can't follow orders for reasons of conscience. The professor argued this method should be in place today as well.
Rabbi Wolpo and Weintraub were indicted for an incident in 2009, in which they gave monetary awards to the parents of soldiers who refused orders to expel Jews at a ceremony. Rabbi Wolpo was accused of giving a similar prize at a ceremony in 2011.
The indictment is uncalled for, argued Eldad, adding "I maybe wouldn't have handed out prizes, but I would praise those soldiers who followed their conscience."