Future chief rabbis of the IDF will be appointed by the Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel and not by the IDF Chief of Staff as in the past. Kan 11's Roy Sharon reported.
The coalition agreements between Religious Zionism and the Likud determine that a law be passed "strengthening the role of the IDF Chief Rabbi and establishes his position through the appointment and the halachic (Jewish law) independence of the IDF Chief Rabbi".
According to the proposed law, a committee, led by Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, will appoint the Chief Rabbi of the IDF. The committee will be made up of a represented of the government, the head of a yeshiva, two representatives of yeshiva organizations, the head of the IDF's Personnel Directorate, and the former IDF Chief Rabbi; five rabbis, one politician, and one officer.
In addition, according to the new law, the IDF Chief Rabbi's halachic rulings will be subject to the Chief Rabbinate, whose rulings are different from the IDF rabbinate's concerning several issues, including conversion, the burial of non-Jewish fallen soldiers, female service, operational needs on the Sabbath, and more.
Former IDF Chief of Staff MK Gadi Eisenkot reacted to the report stating: "The decision to take the appointment of the IDF Cheif Rabbi away from the Chief of Staff and the Defense Minister comes from Netanyahu's political weakness and his partners being drunk on power. These quickfire moves harm the IDF as a uniform army of the nation." Eisenkot added that "While facing Israel's defensive challenges, we don't have the privilege to turn the IDF into a bargaining chip in the coalition negotiations.