Altalena Anno 2009
Tonight the Defense Ministry announced that the IDF will no longer work together with the yeshivah Har Brakhah. The decision, which lacks precedent but nonetheless was far from unexpected, is the climax of a growing conflict between Rabbi Melamed and the defense establishment. For some time now, Rabbi Melamed has been inciting against the army, encouraging religious soldiers to refuse to carry out orders to evacuate settlements.
In light of the fact that he refuses to stop doing so, this was the only logical step that defense minister Barak could take.
Yes, it’s true that in a democracy, everyone — including rabbis — has the absolute right to state their opinions — even stupid or dangerous ones.
However, one still has to take into account that one’s statements may have consequences, and it’s not an absolute right for one’s yeshivah to work within the hesder system.
Furthermore, in a democracy, politicians make the decisions and the armed forced must be nothing but an a-political tool that just has to carry out what the democratically elected leaders have decided. If people within the army start to make up policy of their own, that would soon lead us all down the path of anarchy or even a long line of military coups.
This is the logic behind the cutting of the ties with Har Brakhah, and this was the logic behind the sinking of the Altalena. A country like Israel that needs a strong defense can’t afford to compromise on this point if it wants to safeguard the crucial principle that the army serves the body politic and not the other way around.
If the price is the sinking of a arms ship or a yeshivah, it’s a small price to pay.
Entry filed under: Politics.