Rabbi Levanon. Knows the answer?
Photo: Haim Zach
Katsav. 'Worked in favor of the uprooting'
Photo: Yaron Brener
Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, who serves as chief rabbi of the Elon Moreh settlement and the regional rabbi of Samaria, says former President Moshe Katsav's conviction of two counts of rape is not directly related to his actions.
According to the rabbi, Katsav is being punished for not acting against the disengagement from Gaza as president.
In an article he wrote for the "Komemiyut" leaflet, which is distributed on weekends in synagogues, the rabbi explained his stance: "God works in many ways. Those courts and those politicians he praised are the ones who came out against him and accused him of sexual harassment. Wise men compare it to an axe, whose handle is taken from a tree branch and which I used to tear down the tree itself. In other words, God uses the same power to create a tool to clear out the evil."
Ynet-Yesodot survey reveals that while majority of public opposes rabbis' support for former president convicted of rape, many among ultra-Orthodox public agree with them
The rabbi's remarks were written in response to a rabbis' letter in support of Katsav.
According to the Samaria rabbi, however, "The question whether the former president is innocent or did in fact commit an indecent assault is irrelevant. The entire legal system is working to execute God's desire to seek revenge against a person who had the power to protest and didn’t protest."
Rabbi Levanon even describes the chain of events which he says led to Katsav's punishment. He says that during the disengagement, a group of rabbis was summoned by the president, who praised the importance of democracy and of obeying the government, the Knesset and the legal system.
"He reprimanded the rabbis for their negative thoughts on these systems, and demanded that they adapt themselves by not refusing to carry out the destruction, not making statements against the government and bowing to the legal system.
"At the same time, many attempts were made to stop the expulsion and destruction: Rallies, demonstration, a human chain, pressuring politicians – but all these actions were brutally silenced.
"One person, who the public trusted, could have prevented the destruction and expulsion by recruiting masses of people. It was the president! One scathing statement from him against the politicians and the security forces' delusions could have boosted the struggle against the expulsion to a different level, with a real possibility of stopping the move. Instead, the president worked in favor of the uprooting."
In his article, the rabbi explains that the Katsav affair is similar to the punishment of Pharaoh, who was "encouraged by God" to be hit by the Ten Plagues before setting the people of Israel free.
It may seems that God punished Pharaoh and the Egyptians for their refusal to free the people of Israel, Rabbi Levanon explains, but the punishment was for what they did before – for the slavery and oppression. The same applies to the former president as well, he says.
- Follow Ynetnews on Facebook