Photo: Hatzofe
Rabbi Eli Sadan
Photo: Hatzofe
Knesset website
Rabbi Haim Drukman
Knesset website
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Rabbi Shlomo Aviner
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Zionist rabbis rule out 'civil war'
Over 20 rabbis of Religious Zionist Movement sign petition rejecting incitement against government; petition calls on Zionist religious public 'to work with all strength to amplify national unity'

The religious Zionist Movement has been facing an ideological crisis for some time. The evacuation of Gush Katif and isolated settlements in the northern West Bank sparked off anti-government feelings among settlers and their supporters.


A group of prominent rabbis in the nationalist-Zionist public set out a number of ideological principles in a document released over the holiday of Shavuot, calling for restraint to avoid incitement against the government and the security establishment.


Two weeks ago, Rabbi Eli Sadan took the initiative when he voiced concern over incitement against the government among the religious Zionist public.


Sadan said he is opposed to using violent means against the will of the majority in the country, referring to the consensus over plans to evacuate isolated settlements in the West Bank.


Over 20 rabbis joined Sadan in signing a document called "Our Path for this Point in Time," which sketches out a number of moderate ideological principles to guide the community.


Rabbis Yaakov Ariel of Ramat Gan, Haim Drukman of the Bnei Akiva yeshiva, Shlomo Aviner of Beit El, Moti Ayalon of the Kotel Yeshiva, and Yigal Kamiski (former rabbi of Neve Dekalim) are among the signatories.


The rabbis wrote the public needs "guidance at a time of crisis."


'State of Israel is sovereign'


"Despite of, and more so because of, our deep pain," the document read, "we won't be dragged into civil war, we will raise no hands on each other, and we will work hard to strengthen unity among our people."


The signatories wrote that unity has been the driving force behind the achievements of Zionism, warning that unity should be preserved at all cost.


The document stressed the status of the Israel Defense Forces as the people's army and that of the parliamentary system of government as the best suited political system for Israel.


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