Rabbi Moti Elon: ´Thugs´ Ruining Fight Against Expulsion

Prominent national religious Rabbi Moti Elon condemned "thugs and hooligans" for setting back the anti-disengagement struggle "thousands of miles" by resorting to violence this week.

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, | updated: 18:04

"Whoever in the name of love for the land is capable of placing spikes and pouring oil on roads is a criminal," said Rabbi Elon, head of Yeshivat HaKotel in Jerusalem’s Old City. Rabbi Elon reminded Israelis that the slogan of the anti-evacuation movement is, "We will win with love," a message that brings respect even from those who favor removing more than 9,000 Jewish residents from their homes Gaza and northern Samaria.

He also opposed obstructing traffic. "You can't block roads and not expect it will lead to spilling oil... The struggle is not supposed to be aimed against a Jew innocently driving" on highways," he explained.

He also cited as criminals those who attacked and injured an Arab and heavily damaged an Arab villa in Gush Katif this past week. A large army and police contingent clashed with several Jewish activists while removing them from Gush Katif. Several people were injured and 44 were arrested.

Former Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu has permitted blocking roads on the condition that an alternate route is available.

Rabbi Zalman Melamed, head of the Bet El Yeshiva and also a leading nationalist figure, supported blocking roads as a legitimate democratic action that "is accepted everywhere in the world." He said there was not necessarily a connection between the road protests and purposely endangering motorists by spilling oil and nails on the roads. He suggested that government "provocateurs" may have been responsible for such actions and that there is no evidence that anti-evacuation activists were to blame.