Photo: Dan Balilti
Rabbi Zalman Melamed
Photo: Dan Balilti

Rabbi urges parents to protest against evacuation

Zalman Melamed, father of Har Bracha Yeshiva head who refused to condemn hesder yeshiva soldiers' protests, urges parents of soldiers to protest outside army bases against evacuation of settlements

Rabbi Zalman Melamed, one of the Religious Zionism stream's senior rabbis, urged parents of IDF soldiers to protest against orders handed down to their children to evacuate settlements in the West Bank, and recommended they demonstrate outside the army bases in which their children serve.


His comments came following hesder yeshivas' declarations objecting to the soldiers' protesting themselves, and Melamed said his proposed course of action is "what is important now".


Melamed is head of the Beit El Yeshiva and father of Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, whose yeshiva was recently removed from the arrangement with the IDF following its refusal to condemn its troops' insubordination.


Melamed senior is considered one of the highest ranking right-wing rabbis, and a leader in the Religious Zionism stream. His call to hold protests outside military bases is unprecedented ad marks an escalation in the struggle against the army's use of soldiers for civil policing tasks.


In a Q&A section on the website, one of the only channels through which Melamed expresses his opinions to the public, the rabbi was asked: "Is telling all the people of Israel not to protest in the military the most important thing now? If the military does such horrible things is it forbidden to protest? What is the meaning of this instruction besides an attempt to appease the defense minister?"


In response Melamed wrote: "What is important now is that the parents protest by the camps in which their sons serve and by the Prime Minister's Office and say: 'We do not allow our sons to harm our brothers in the settlements'."


His son, Rabbi Eliezer Melamed also comment this week on his alignment with the Hesder Yeshivas Association, and wished to once again highlight the ideological differences between himself and the rabbis who are considered more moderate.


He stressed that even though he signed a document expressing objection to the soldiers' protest, he would not agree to condemn those who carried signs against settlement evacuation, and would not back down from his stance on insubordination.


"As a member of the body of yeshiva heads the majority's position should be taken into account and adopted on the condition that there is no principle change," Melamed explained.


He stressed that "If they had told me to condemn the protesters, I wouldn't have agreed… Certainly with regards to forcing soldiers to commit Shabbat offenses or expel Jews, there has been no change – all the other rabbis agree with this principle."


The Har Bracha Yeshiva head stressed that he would "continue to fulfill my duty and publically express my position honesty and directly. Many yeshiva heads support this position and I believe they are the majority."


פרסום ראשון: 12.23.09, 13:12
 new comment
This will delete your current comment