IDF Soldiers
IDF SoldiersIsrael news photo: Flash 90
Major General Avi Mizrachi sharply criticized Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, the Rosh Yeshiva of Har Bracha, for comments he made four years ago following the expulsions of Jews from the Gaza region and portions of northern Samaria. The senior IDF officer spoke during a talk with students at the pre-military academy in Eli last week.

Students who attended the lecture said that Mizrachi praised their motivation to serve in the IDF but railed against recent incidents in which Kfir brigade soldiers raised signs in protest of expelling Jews from their homes.

The General also said that he was personally insulted by comments written by Rabbi Melamed in his book "Revivim" that referred to Mizrachi and other senior IDF officers as being tainted by corruption, careerism and political ambition. General Mizrachi revealed that he had demanded from both the Chief of Staff and Defense Minister to take steps against Yeshivat Har Bracha and Rabbi Melamed in retaliation for his writing. “Anyone who wants to learn there can, but whoever wants to join the IDF should attend other yeshivot.”

Following the lecture, it was revealed that Mizrachi had neglected to mention that Rabbi Melamed had written "Revivim" following the expulsion of all Jewish inhabitants from Gush Katif and that he continues to encourage his students to join combat units in the IDF, which largely recognizes the contributions made by Har Bracha graduates to the State of Israel’s defense.