IDF Chief of Staff refuses to meet with Chief Rabbi of Israel

Sources tell Arutz Sheva IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot is boycotting Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, cancelling planned meeting with him.

Ido Ben Porat ,

Eizenkot (l) and Liberman (r)
Eizenkot (l) and Liberman (r)

The IDF Chief of Staff, Gadi Eizenkot, has cancelled a planned meeting with Chief Rabbi of Israel Yitzhak Yosef, senior sources told Arutz Sheva.

The CoS and Rabbi Yosef were scheduled to meet later this week, amid simmering tensions over the army’s new regulations regarding mixed-gender combat units.

The cancellation comes after Rabbi Yosef backed comments by Tzfat Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu criticizing the army’s plans to expand the number of mixed-gender combat units in the IDF.

Senior defense officials decided to boycott the Chief Rabbi following his endorsement of Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu’s comments, with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) announcing over the weekend the cancellation of a series of army ceremonies Rabbi Yosef had been invited to in his capacity as Chief Rabbi.

“Not even the Chief Rabbi, nor any other rabbi, can call for the dismissal of the Chief of Staff, or to call on [young Israelis] not to enlist, and still take part in any IDF ceremonies,” said Liberman.

“I don’t intend to give them a platform inside the army until they renounce [their comments]. They [the rabbis] are employees of the state who receive their funding from taxpayers.”

Last week, Rabbi Eliyahu called for Eizenkot’s dismissal, blaming him for the decline in motivation among IDF draftees.