Rabbi Eyal Karim
Rabbi Eyal Karim No credit

The state presented to the High Court its response to the petition against the appointment of Colonel Rabbi Eyal Karim as IDF Chief Rabbi, stating that the petition should be rejected since there was no flaw in the Chief of Staff's decision to appoint Karim to the position.

The response stated that there was no truth to statements attributed to Rabbi Karim and that his actions and achievements prove that the decision of the Chief of Staff to appoint him to the post was due to his being the most qualified and appropriate candidate for the position and his being the "right man in the right place" considering his abilities, knowledge and military record.

The state added that regarding the legal aspect, "The jurisdiction given to an authority appointing a person to a public position is very broad and the level of intervention in that jurisdiction is very minor and is reserved for extreme and unusual cases. This applies more emphatically to decisions by the Chief of Staff regarding IDF appointments.

"The methods of jurisdiction employed by the Chief of Staff in appointing Rabbi Karim, together with his decision not to retract the appointment and its affirmation by the Defense Minister, were reasonable and proper and do not leave any room for court intervention," concluded the state's response.

Yesterday the High Court discussed the petition by Meretz MKs against Rabbi Karim's appointment and decided to delay the appointment until the Rabbi presented a declaration explaining his halakhic statements from previous years.

In the course of the hearing the judges said that "The army chief rabbi is a moral and ethical figure. Such shocking statements on his part should not pass without being clarified. Does the rabbi stand behind these statements today as well". Judge Salim Jubran said that "these statements are shocking" and asked where halakha sanctions raping women.

High Court Chief Justice Miriam Naor added that the answers should be provided by Rabbi Karim himself "not in letters or oral presentations but in an official declaration what his position was then, what it is today and whether he has retracted his original position."

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