Chief Military Rabbi Brigadier-General Rafi Peretz has demanded that hesder yeshiva rabbis condemn "price tag" activities and act against them, in light of the torching of a mosque
in the northern Arab village of Tuba Zangaria and the desecration of Arab graves
Peretz spoke Sunday during a conference organized by the Hesder Yeshivot Association for dozens of yeshiva heads. "The 'price tag' phenomenon must be strongly condemned," he said. "I expected yeshiva heads to act against this phenomenon."
Rabbi Haim Drukman, a member of the Hesder Yeshivot Association's management, who attended the event, joined in on the IDF rabbi's remarks, saying that "price tag" activities were "strictly prohibited".
Two of the most senior Religious Zionism rabbis, Ramat Gan Rabbi Yaakov Ariel and Safed Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, issued a joint statement of condemnation against the recent incidents.
"We heard about the torching of the mosque in Tuba Zangaria and the desecration of graves in Jaffa. These acts are prohibited and completely contradict the way of Torah, and therefore we believe and hope that they were not committed by Jews."
Another issue discussed during the conference was women's singing in the IDF, following the dismissal of cadets
from an officers' course after walking out of a military event in protest of female soldiers' performance.
"The starting point is working together with the army," said Rabbi Peretz, stating that "nothing will come between me and the army, even if the world turns over."
He sought to appease the rabbis by saying that the religious public's absolute loyalty to the IDF was clear to the army leaders. The yeshiva heads, on their part, expressed their support for the Military Rabbinate's way of handling the affair, following criticism voiced against the army rabbi in recent weeks.
The Hesder Yeshivot Association issued a statement saying that the rabbis fully support the Military Rabbinate and its chief in terms of halachic issues in the IDF and handling "sensitive issues which have been on the agenda recently."
Rabbi Drukman added, "The Military Rabbinate institutions in the IDF must be strengthened rather than weakened. The Military Rabbinate headed by Rabbi Peretz has reached significant achievements in a variety of fields related to the integration of Halacha into the IDF.
"We have no other Military Rabbinate, and therefore we must all unite and offer our support for the handling of the complex reality it faces in light of the sensitive issues surrounding the relations between Halacha and the army."