Daily Israel Report

Sharon in 1974: "I Would Not Fulfill Such an Order"

"This is an immoral order... I wouldn't fulfill such an order." Speaking in 1974, Ariel Sharon added that neither would he issue such an order. He was referring to evacuating Jews from the Land.
First Publish: 3/20/2005, 5:33 PM / Last Update: 3/20/2005, 10:48 AM

Sharon said this on June 4, 1974, during an attempt by IDF soldiers to remove a group of would-be settlers from the area that was planned to become Elon Moreh in the Shomron.

Maariv reporter Yossi Valter reported on June 5, 1974 that one of the IDF officers said to Sharon, who had been elected to the Knesset for the first time only five months earlier: "Arik, when you gave us the order to cross the Suez Canal during the Yom Kippur War [[eight months ago], I knew it was suicide – but I went anyway, because that was your order. Now you demand of us to violate an order of our commander? Is that what you would have wanted from your soldiers?"

Sharon then responded that the order to remove the Jews from the land, where they had fenced off a half-acre and set up 16 tents, was immoral, "and to orders of this type, one must refuse. I would not fullfill such an order."

Valter reported that the exchange took place on a "rocky plot of land near Shechem, at the end of a tussle between about 100 settlers and several dozen soldiers who tried to remove them. MK Sharon took active part in these scuffles, trying to prevent the soldiers from forcibly removing the group members. This group, including women and children, actualized yesterday, for one day, a dream that it had woven for many years: to establish the community 'Elon Moreh' in the area of Shechem, and thus to fulfill the [Torah] commandment of inhabiting the Land."

Elon Moreh is now located elsewhere, to the east of Shechem, while very close to the above-mentioned site is now the Jewish community of Itamar.

At another point in the scuffle, Valter reported, a soldier said to Sharon, "As a commander in the IDF, would you want your soldiers to refuse orders?" Sharon responded, "The disgrace is yours. I would never demand [of my soldiers] to carry out such an act."