Leaders of Yitzhar, the Samaria community where youths destroyed an IDF outpost and set off a firestorm of criticism, issued a letter Thursday appealing to residents to oppose violence against the IDF.
The letter acknowledges the frustration of residents, saying that there was no justification Tuesday for the demolition of homes by the Civil Administration, aided by the IDF, calling it “part of the policy of trying to stamp out our community, in a collective, vengeful manner. We, the leadership of the community, will do everything we can to prevent this.”
But that did not justify violence, the letter said.
“Unfortunately, we have recently been witness to incidents of violence against IDF soldiers and defense forces. These actions are in polar opposition to the policies of the residents and leadership of this town. They also oppose the rulings of our rabbi.” In an interview with Channel Two, Rabbi David Dudkovitch said that while he proud of the community's many positive achievements, there was something lacking in the fundamental educational and moral level of some residents that must be dealt with, so that the community in its entirety understands the essential wrongness of the week’s events.
In addition, the letter said, “we see how these actions generate a very negative response” from many sectors, “both official and unofficial. The public at large sees this 'struggle' agains IDF soldiers as totally unjustified. Such actions isolate us even from those Israelis who greatly sympathize with us” throughout Israel.
The recent events – including slashing tires of IDF vehicles and the arson against the IDF outpost this week – have prompted the leadership to hold a referendum to see how deep the support, or opposition, is to such actions among residents.
“Do we as a community wish to continue on a path of unsupervised struggle without any responsibility, unfettered, and damaging to the reputation of residents, or not,” the letter says. “We call on all residents to vote on how this town will conduct itself in the future. We strongly opposed attacking and damaging IDF soldiers and security forces. We call on the public to take responsibility and oppose these actions with us.”