Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, the Shomron Regional Council's chief rabbi and a leader of the religious Zionism movement, came out against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday. "Whoever raises a hand on Migron will have it cut off and the prime minister should know that," he said.
The rabbi made the statements during a conference for the Gaza pullout evacuees. He went as far as to link the death of Netanyahu's father and that of haredi-Lithuanian Rabbi Shalom Yosef Elyashiv, to illustrate the differences between the secular and religious societies. "Recently two elderly people passed away, Benzion Netanyahu and Rabbi Elyashiv. One left 1,400 offspring and the other 10 – that's the difference between us."
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- Migron residents want to remain home
Rabbi Levanon also commented on the differences between the religious public and the secular public's contribution to the state. "We shall conquer Israel. In mighty forces we shall go anywhere, the yeshiva students will go to the army, because otherwise there will be no army. Who will join the army? Those who raise two kids and a dog?"
Speaking to Ynet, the rabbi explained he was not inciting against the prime minister but had meant "for the heavens" to make his words "come true."
Migron residents brace for eviction (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
"One cannot ignore the pattern of things that happened to people involved in the expulsion like Nisso Shaham, Dan Halutz, Moshe Katsav, and it's true for Netanyahu as well."
The state committed to an evacuation of Migron as early as 2008, after the High Court of Justice ruled that the outpost had been built on private Palestinian land.
In the past year, the state and the settlers reached an agreement whereby the residents will be provided with alternative housing at Givat Yaakov, a project worth millions of dollars.
However, recently some of the families claimed they had purchased their own land. A High Court hearing is scheduled for Tuesday but the government is demanding an evacuation prior to the hearing.
On Sunday, Netanyahu said at the cabinet meeting, "We will honor the court's decision and meanwhile continue to strengthen the settlement enterprise. We did so in Beit El and will do so in Migron. We've already set up alternative housing and we hope things go smoothly."
Cabinet ministers expressed anger at the settlers who refuse to be evacuated in defiance of an agreement signed with Minister Benny Begin, and accused them of being "ungrateful."
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