Israel 'Not Ready for a Religious IDF Chief'

Rabbi Eli Sadan, pioneer of religious pre-military program, says religious-Zionists can lead the way - but through consensus.

Hillel Fendel,

Religious-Zionists play an increasingly promi
Religious-Zionists play an increasingly promi
Flash 90

Rabbi Eli Sadan, founder of the first and leading pre-military yeshiva academy in Eli, says the State of Israel is not yet ready for a Torah-observant IDF Chief of Staff. He later added that he feels the same way regarding a religious prime minister.

Speaking with Channel 10, Rabbi Sadan says that given the situation in Israel today, "the appointment of an observant Chief of Staff would be a calamity. The Chief of Staff must be in the national consensus so that he can lead the army forward."

"I don't want there to be, for even one moment, a feeling in the country that the religious are forcing themselves on the public and leading the country to a place that most people don't want to go. That would be terrible, it would destroy the country."

Rabbi Sadan qualified this by saying that he is not referring to a religious candidate for the position who enjoys wide national support.

In the very same interview, Rabbi Sadan, a veteran of Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav Kook, explained openly that his purpose in founding the Eli pre-army yeshiva academy was to "change the spirit of the manner in which top officers speak and express themselves."

He further acknowledged that his goal was to prevent another withdrawal from Israeli territory – "but not via mass refusal of orders. Rather, if there are 20 religious division commanders in the army, the entire decision-making process would be different; withdrawal would not even be an option."

The full interview was broadcast this evening (Monday) on Channel 10.

Rabbi Sadan further acknowledged that he hopes to bring about a change in the Mossad, the Shabak, the IDF, the State Prosecution, and academia, in order to effect a "national change of spirit."

However, he said, "I know that present-day State of Israel is comprised of many different population sectors, which must be ever-so-delicately held together."