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Ehud Barak Photo: Yaron Brener
Ehud Barak Photo: Yaron Brener
 
Rabbi Eliezer Melamed Photo: Yehonatan Zur
Rabbi Eliezer Melamed Photo: Yehonatan Zur
 
 

Barak summons Rabbi Melamed

Defense minister says will decide future of military's arrangement with hesder seminary schools after meeting with controversial head of Har Bracha yeshiva

Kobi Nahshoni
Published: 12.09.09, 00:08 / Israel News

Defense Minister Ehud Barak met Tuesday with five hesder yeshiva rabbis and said he will summon

Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, head of the Har Bracha yeshiva, for a meeting following his statements encouraging disobedience in case of settlement eviction and accusing the IDF's top brass of corruption.

 

Speaking at a Bar Ilan University conferencee in late November, Melamed, who began his address by saying serving in the IDF was a mitzvah, went on to say that "There is corruption among the high ranks of the military and therefore we cannot count on the defense establishment to warn us properly before a deal to release terrorists takes place.

 

Criticism
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"The officers go along with the politicians, the media and public opinion. That's why they didn’t warn us before the Oslo Accords, before we ran away from Lebanon or before the (2005) eviction. Therefore it is our job to do the warning."

 

The statement has been harshly criticized and GOC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrahi recommended the IDF sever it ties with hesder yeshivas.

 

Barak said he will make a final decision about the future of the defense establishment's arrangement with the hesder seminary schools only after his meeting with Melamed.

 

Barak is set to meet with Melamed within 48 hours.

 

The defense minister told the rabbis that while he appreciates hesder soldiers, the IDF will not abide any political demonstration or disobedience.

 

The five rabbis attending the meeting agreed with Barak, and criticized Melamed's statement, but said academic and religious freedom in the military must be preserved.

 

A senior member of the hesder schools association told Ynet that "We hope Rabbi Melamed decides to be smart rather than right when he meets with Barak, thus saving himself, his yeshiva and all of us.

 

"On the other hand we know that there are some who tell him that he must stand his ground even if it comes with a price. If he chooses to do that so be it – even if we'll all find ourselves in trouble because of it."

 

The hesder association called the next 48 hours "critical."

 

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