Supreme Court Justices Yitzhak Amit, Alex Stein and Gila Canfy-Steinitz unanimously rejected a petition that demanded permission to bring chametz into IDF bases on Passover.
They determined that the violation of the rights of soldiers who wish to eat chametz [the prohibition to eat leavened bread during the seven days of Passover] is limited, because it applies to only a few days of the year – compared to the obligation to provide kosher food to all soldiers.
The ruling states that in regard to "the main question that arose in the petition, whether the ban on the consumption of chametz during Passover in all areas of the IDF bases, as opposed to areas intended for food preparation and serving only – infringes a constitutional right of soldiers who wish to eat chametz during Passover. The Supreme Court unanimously rejected the petition and ruled that there should be no interference with the army's orders regarding the consumption of chametz at IDF bases during the Passover holiday.
The court further determined that "this ruling has a relatively low impact on the soldiers, and it is only for a few days of the year, and within the framework of military service, which by nature already involves extensive denial of freedoms. Also, the number of soldiers affected by the restriction is relatively small, since many soldiers go on leave or are allowed to leave their base during the day, and others anyway avoid eating chametz in the base for diverse reasons."
Because of this, it was determined that "in light of this limited harm, there is important public interest – the IDF's compliance with its obligation to provide kosher food to its soldiers on Passover and ensuring unit cohesion. It was found that the IDF's position regarding the ban on the introduction of chametz is necessary in order to ensure that all food served in the IDF during Passover is kosher, and in order not to make it difficult for observant soldiers to stay in the living quarters with soldiers who own chametz, thereby harming the normal routine of life in the units during the holiday, as well as military cohesion."
Torat Lehima responded to the ruling, saying that "The IDF is a Jewish army, in which Passover is celebrated in an idyllic atmosphere and with a high degree of unity, already from the day it was founded. In these times when the IDF is fighting a war for our existence against a murderous enemy, who killed Jews only because they were Jews, wealthy anti-religious and irrelevant extremists are being blocked from entering IDF bases, and their harmful influence has been weakened.”
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank Minister, Dr. Shlomo Karhi, who prepared the 'Passover Law in the IDF' together with us, thus adopting the military command as written, and which was signed by dozens of Knesset members from the Right and Left, including Minister Ariel Busso who promoted the submission of the law, and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who joined in signing it.”
“There is no doubt that the unwavering parliamentary move set a red line for the Supreme Court and influenced their current decision not to interfere with the nature of the IDF. We will continue to stand guard for the IDF as a victorious Jewish army."