Rabbi Eliezer Melamed says he will agree to condemn military insubordination should such statement be endorsed by a rabbi convention this coming Sunday.
The rabbi came under fire after refusing to condemn recent displays of insubordination, ultimately prompting Defense Minister Ehud Barak to penalize the rabbi's hesder yeshiva by ending its special arrangement with the IDF.
In a column written by Rabbi Melamed and slated to be published this week, the rabbi reviews the entire affair and offers his views on the subject. However, it is unclear whether capitulation on Melamed's part will avert the penalty imposed on his yeshiva.
In his article, the rabbi says that he has not endorsed statements rejecting insubordination because "it would be improper for one to endorse a Torah position he was forced or pressured into." He also argues that Defense Ministry officials would have presented such endorsement as "relegation of the Torah to Barak's rule."
However, the rabbi also clearly states that he fundamentally supports other rabbis' declaration that rejects insubordination.
To conclude, Rabbi Melamed makes it clear that as for the time being he is part of the hesder yeshiva establishment, he agreed to authorize the forum of all yeshiva heads to make the decision on whether to condemn insubordination on his behalf.
Barak: I will not yield
The IDF will be going forward with the decision to end the special arrangement with Rabbi Melamed's Har Bracha Yeshiva, Israel's top defense officials said Wednesday afternoon.
In a meeting with head of the hesder yeshiva union, Rabbi Haim Drukman, Minister Barak and his Deputy Matan Vilnai made it clear that their decision to penalize Har Bracha over Rabbi Melamed's endorsement of insubordination will be implemented.
Earlier Wednesday, Ynet learned that rabbis were considering a "calculated risk" to resolve the situation – declaring that all hesder yeshivas will pull out of the deal with the IDF should Har Bracha be left out. Such move would aim to prompt Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to get involved in the affair.
Barak's office said that during Wednesday's meeting, Rabbi Drukman stated that hesder yeshivas view military service as one of their basic values, and that this was unconditional.
"The IDF will remain outside the political debate, and there is no compromise here," Barak said. "The decision regarding an end to the arrangement between the IDF and the Har Bracha Yeshiva still stands."
Barak urged the heads of other hesder yeshivas to allow Har Bracha students to join their ranks, so they can "continue serving the IDF and the State with dedication and loyalty."
Hanan Greenberg contributed to the story