Nachshon soldiers' protest. Who influences them?
Photo: Asaf Fried
Shoshi Becker
Photo courtesy of Yesodot

Poll: 39% blame IDF for troops' insubordination

Who is to blame for disobedience in army? Ynet poll reveals 39% of public points finger at IDF for 'giving orders soldiers cannot carry out.' Some 38% feel rabbis are to blame

The waving of protest signs in the Shimshon and Nachshon Battalions prompted harsh responses from the prime minister, defense minister and the IDF chief of staff. But how does the public feel?


A poll performed by Ynet together with the Yesodot Center for Torah and Democracy reveals that the Israel Defense Forces are regarded as mainly responsible for disobedience during outpost evacuation, followed by right-wing rabbis and the refuseniks themselves.


However, less than a third of the public believes that ordering soldiers to uproot settlers from their homes is an unlawful order.


The Ynet-Yesodot survey, which was conducted by the Panels Institute, polled 517 respondents representative of the adult Jewish population in Israel. The standards deviation of the results is plus or minus 4.4%.


The poll found that 39% blamed the IDF for disobedience during outpost evacuation, due to the fact that army commanders were giving orders which soldiers could not carry out. Some 38% claimed that the rabbis were responsible for insubordination, citing atmosphere in yeshivas as the cause.


Only 14% blamed the actual soldiers, while 9% pointed a finger at the educational system.


An analysis of the results shows that the religious public blamed the IDF, whereas the seculars mostly blamed the rabbis (49%), but also the army (27%).


Some 40% of respondents said that the rabbis were the most influential figures on refuseniks, 39% pointed to friends and close community, 16% named family members, 7% pointed to the media and 3% said that authors and intellectuals were most influential on refuseniks.


A poll analysis indicated that the secular public pointed to the rabbis as influential figures (46%), whereas the Masorti public was divided between friends and close community (35% each). Among the ultra-Orthodox and religious communities it was the soldier's environment which was deemed most influential (38% and 30% respectively).


Asked which constituted an unlawful order, 49% replied that eating un-kosher food was unlawful, 31% cited Shabbat desecration, 28% noted uprooting settlers from homes, 16% said deporting children of foreign workers and 15% said that evacuating Arab-Israelis from their homes amounted to an unlawful order. Some 16% noted that all of the above orders were unlawful while 20% claimed none were such.


'Public wants relief in dilemmas' '

Shoshi Becker, educational director of Yesodot Center for Torah and Democracy said, "Poll participants lay responsibility first and foremost on the army and it is clearly indicated that the public expects a relief in difficult dilemmas posed to soldiers upon outpost evacuation. The religious world sees friends and the immediate community as elements which influence the soldier's decision to refuse orders, while seculars view the rabbis as most influential on a soldier's decision.


"In the court ruling on the Kfar Kassem case judges asserted there were orders which were unlawful. The soldier was not only allowed not to carry out such an order, but obliged not to.


"However, turning every order, which is against one's moral or political views, to unlawful renders this important principal a joke. Paying tens of thousands of shekels to jailed soldiers prevents society from using punishment as a deterrent," Becker said.


פרסום ראשון: 11.26.09, 07:38
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