IDF Reserve Soldiers and Officers Say No to Disengagement

Hundreds of IDF reserve soldiers and officers gathered in Jerusalem’s Binyanei HaUmah Convention Center Tuesday to call upon their fellow soldiers to refuse to take part in the Disengagement Plan.

, | updated: 14:56

The audience also included several elite unit soldiers in uniform and the parents of a Druze soldier already sitting in prison for refusing to train for the uprooting were in attendance.

Many of the reservists tore up draft notices in front of the television cameras. They instead accepted orange “call-up notices” symbolizing their enlistment in the struggle against the planned withdrawal from Gush Katif and northern Samaria.

“There are those who tell us we are destroying the IDF - that a soldier must fulfill every order given to him,” Colonel (ret.) Moshe Leshem told those gathered. “At Nuremberg, people were hanged for saying, ‘We were just fulfilling orders.’ We say to them: ‘We are saving the IDF.’”

Also addressing the conference were Lt.-Col. Shimon Bart, Sayeret Matkal (General Staff Reconnaissance) fighter Tzafrir Ronen, and Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed, chief rabbi of Beit El.

Noam Livnat, spokesman for the Homat Magen (Defensive Shield) organization that sponsored the event, told Arutz-7 that every soldier who receives call-up orders must be aware that he will be used to further the uprooting/expulsion. "The army is calling up thousands of soldiers to take part," he said, "and if he is not in an inner ring [actual expulsion], he will be in an outer one [guarding the entrances and the like]. Everyone who receives a call-up order for the summer will be involved in one way or another, and people must know this. But with G-d's help, we will stop it..."

" Even those who are being called up right now are enabling others to prepare for the expulsion," Livnat said. "It sounds funny, but even cars are being called up, just like 40 years ago - because the army has a shortage in ways of transporting people..."

Arutz-7's Uzi Baruch asked, "How do you deal with the claims that you will cause a national catastrophe by calling for wide-spread refusal in the army?"

Livnat: "There is a clear Halakhic [Jewish legal] ruling by former Chief Rabbi Avraham Shapira that one must refuse these orders, and former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu similarly said that one may not take part in the disengagement; he feels that one should not refuse, but should rather say that he can't do it. These are nuances, but the bottom line is that one may not take part."

Livnat explained that the struggle against the disengagement has three aspects: "The civil disobedience; the refusal by policemen and soldiers to act against the very people they are charged with protecting; and the amazing staying-power and strength of the residents in Gush Katif and northern Shomron themselves."

The father of Sgt. Timor Abdullah, one of two Druze soldier sent to prison so far for refusing to take part in preparations for the Disengagement Plan, took the podium last night to a sustained standing ovation from the crowd. He was presented with a framed certificate for his son, referring to him as a “Righteous Gentile.”

Sgt. Abdullah had sent a letter to the IDF's new Chief of Staff, Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz, saying, “"When my colleagues and I are demanded to participate in operations whose objective is to defend the country and its citizens, we feel obliged to participate, but when we are asked to participate in an operation against the people we are meant to defend – our consciences would tremble eternally."

Wiping a tear from his eye, Nazib Abdullah, from the Druze village of Kfar Kama, thanked those present for the “warm embrace,” calling upon all Israelis to follow in his son’s footsteps. “What he did, everyone must do,” he said. “He has been sentenced to 35 days, and he will continue to sit in prison for what is right rather than take part in something he will regret for the rest of his life."

Hevron Jewish Community spokesman Noam Arnon, one of the organizers of the conference, spoke with Israel National Radio's Eli Stutz and Malkah Fleisher. Click here to listen to the interview.



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