Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu: Religious parties should unite
Photo: Oren Rosenfeld
Former Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu says he made a mistake by telling settlers not to resist army and police forces during the recent Gaza and northern West Bank evacuation.
In a pamphlet distributed in synagogues across the country ahead of Rosh Hashana, Eliyahu makes it clear he would call for soldiers and police officers to refuse orders in the event of another pullout. Meanwhile, he has also called on all religious parties to unite, saying “a religious front could have prevented the evacuation.”
“In the past I said: ‘Poor soldiers, poor police officers, we have pity on them. How will they come and have a fight with Jews? Today, we mustn’t have pity…” the rabbi said, and called on settlers to refrain from leaving their homes voluntarily in the event troops come to evict them.
“I thought the police, the army, and the government would be human and take those expelled into consideration,” Rabbi Eliyahu said. “What happened at the end? They took them out, threw them in all sorts of places, they didn’t even have food…they gave them a mobile home and called it a villa.”
“Why should those people be thrown out?” the rabbi continued. “Did they hurt anyone? After all, they are our most precious, best people. They went to live in a land that was a wilderness. Why are you removing them? For what? To give it to a non-Jew? What sort of logic is it? It’s illogical and also immoral.”
According to the rabbi, all soldiers should go to the IDF chief of staff and tell him that evacuations are immoral. He added that if troops are told to remove Jews from the West Bank, he would tell them to refuse orders.
'It’s clear we’ll return to Gush Katif'
Turning his attention to local politics, the rabbi said that religious parties would be able to form a government majority if they were able to unite.
“If they went into elections with a religious front, they would succeed,” he said. “Everyone needs to unite…if we unite, we can be the majority.”
Eliyahu noted that despite the disengagement plan, religious Jews must continue to pray for the wellbeing of the country and of the Jewish people. He then said he was convinced Israel will one day return to the Gaza Strip.
“It’s clear we’ll return to Gush Katif, it’s clear that we’ll win,” he said. “We’ll emerge from this blow stronger. We must continue to learn faith, that’s the solution.”