Rabbi Chaim Druckman
Rabbi Chaim DruckmanIsrael news photo

Despite reports to the contrary, former Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu has not issued an opinion on whether the residents of Bnei Adam should go along with the decision to remove three caravans from their outpost. 

On the other hand, Rabbi Chaim Druckman, one of the leading rabbis of the religious-Zionist camp for over 40 years, has ruled that they should.

The residents themselves do not feel bound by this decision, however, and have gone to consult with Rabbi Moshe Levinger of Hevron instead.  “I don’t believe he will say that we should leave,” said long-time Yesha activist and settlement pioneer Daniella Weiss, “as it is clear what this would mean in terms of [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu’s plan to allow a Palestinian state to be established here.”

The story began Monday, when army bulldozers arrived in the six-year-old neighborhood outside Adam and just north of Jerusalem, to destroy three caravans placed there two months ago by the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria. Avi Roeh, head of the Binyamin Regional Council, succeeded in calling a halt to the destruction, offering a “compromise” by which the caravans would be relocated to nearby Adam.

However, the residents themselves announced the next day that they would not accept this arrangement. They explained that the same bulldozers could arrive in any other Jewish town in Judea and Samaria, with the same threat of destruction, and that little by little the entire settlement enterprise would be “relocated” – making way for a Palestinian state.

Ynet reported that Rabbi Druckman, in conjunction with Rabbi Eliyahu, ruled that the compromise should be accepted in this case. However, Weiss said, “We checked with Rabbi Eliyahu’s office, and he issued no such ruling. The people here are still shocked at the disinformation spread by the Yesha Council.”

She said that they could not accept Rabbi Druckman’s opinion on the matter, “since he was among those who opposed the refusal of orders [during the expulsion from Gush Katif in 2005]. That means that many of the religious soldiers who carried out the expulsion at the time were his students… Instead, he should have called a forum of Land of Israel rabbis to decide this topic. We are now awaiting Rabbi Levinger’s word.”

Asked what would happen if Rabbi Levinger chooses to support the compromise, Daniella Weiss said, “I don’t believe he will.”

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has given the residents of the three caravans – six other families live there as well – five days to leave the outpost on their own.  At present, dozens of youths are at the site, continuing to build.