Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Hesder gets away with it -- for now

The Hesder programme has managed to escape being dismantled -- for the moment, at least. Clearly, dismantling it in the current climate, and when so much else is going on, would have proved too problematic, and some rabbis are getting a little cocky about it:
Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, head of a hesder yeshiva in the Samaria settlement of Elon Moreh, called [IDF Chief of Staff Dan] Halutz a "weak man" while declaring the army would never dare dismantle the hesder program even if the religious soldiers refused evacuation orders.
Personally I wouldn't breathe too easy. In the long-term, in what's a great tragedy for the national religious community, I find it hard to believe that the army will allow the programme to continue as we know it. Perhaps they will no longer allow Hesder boys to serve together in separate units. Perhaps they'll come to some other solution. But the fact remains that some Hesder rabbis have forgotten that the arrangement the national-religious community has come to with the army is a privilege, not a right, and have shown that they are prepared to use their power to undermine the army from within. What army in its right mind, in the long-term, is going to let this slide?

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