Rabbi Sherlo
Photo: Dov Yarden
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Illegal outpost (archives)
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin

Rabbi: Support outposts deal

Rabbi Yuval Sherlo calls on Right to support steps that will lead to deal to strengthen settlement blocs in exchange for evacuation of illegal outposts

"I'm asking to do what we can at this hour: to grant the renewed Yesha Council all the backup and encouragement to reach an agreement on the outposts," Rabbi Yuval Sherlo, head of the Hesder yeshiva of Petah Tiqva, wrote in an article on Monday in an attempt to persuade settlement leaders to accept a government compromise over illegal settlement outposts.


Ynet learned that as part of a proposed deal, the State would evacuate 18 of the 24 illegal outposts, which were built after 2001 and, in return, new housing units would be built in Gush Etzion, Maaleh Adumim, Givat Ze'ev, Ariel, Elkana and Efrat.


Sources from Defense Minister Ehud Barak's office said that an agreement on the details of the plan was reached in a meeting held two weeks ago with representatives of the Yesha Council.


In the manifesto, which appeared on the yeshiva website, Sherlo calls on religious Jews to give the spiritual and moral support needed in order for the Yesha Council to approve the deal.


The rabbi explains that settling the Land of Israel is not a private matter and the act is more meaningful when it is carried with national consent. "When we are talking about agreed-upon and legal settlement, this is invaluable and is even worth the price of giving up other outposts," the rabbi writes.


The religious leader lays out his reasoning in the article: "We are obligated to prevent violence and bloodshed. On the one hand, there are government officials who are interested in (spilling) blood during the removal of outposts and we've seen this in the past; on the other hand, there are also those that want to create a balance of terror by creating violence from those that oppose the government. When both sides want blood – there is blood.


"Moreover, one of the existential dangers to the State of Israel is increasing violence and we have to be part of those who are confronting this and not supporting it. Thus, any step that will prevent internal violence is a Torah mitzvah."


Later in the piece, Rabbi Sherlo adds that "on the practical side, we've learned from personal experience that when a movement takes an 'all or nothing' stance, it usually gets 'nothing'…trying out a different method is the biggest blessing possible for the settlement movement."


The author also counted the strengthening of the government as one consideration that made him to supportive of the negotiations over the illegal outposts: "Anarchy is a lot more dangerous than organized and orderly government. If there is a way to arrive to trust and dialogue with the government it is better for the people of Israel than any other path."


Youth paying price

Sherlo remarked that the radicalization of the youth is "magical in its strength, but destructive in its actions and language" and the youth pay a heavy price. According to the rabbi, a deal on the outposts won’t stop the phenomenon and will maybe even inflame it, but it also likely to rally some of the youth around a life of "ideals and agreements, determination and concession as one."


Despite his remarks mentioned above, Rabbi Sherlo stresses that "only political experts can manage the negotiations in practice and they will take into consideration things like feasibility and trusting official institutions. My comments do not refer to this aspect of things, but rather to the ethical, spiritual aspect."


פרסום ראשון: 03.10.08, 17:36
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