‘An abandonment of pragmatism and unity’
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‘An abandonment of pragmatism and unity’

I would like to express my disagreement with Dr. Scott Lippe’s Dec. 4 letter on three different grounds. Clearly, this is bad counsel.

First of all, ordinary soldiers do not have the right to disobey legal orders. They can legally oppose these orders as ordinary citizens or complain to superiors but in the end they should follow orders. If soldiers are allowed to refuse these orders, why should their counterparts on the left defend the settlers? In the end, the Israel Defense Forces would dissolve.

Even the rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat HaKotel admitted that, when he opposed any refusal to follow orders at the time of the Gaza withdrawal.

Secondly, Dr. Lippe’s policy of defending the right of Jews to live anywhere would ultimately destroy Israel as a democratic Jewish state. Palestinian Arabs would soon outnumber Israeli Jews and Israel would find itself in an odious dilemna of either being a binational state or a Jewish South Africa. To maintain a large Jewish supermajority, many settlements will have to be evacuated and others where there are Jewish historic and religious sites will have to come to terms with Jewish residents living under Palestinian sovereignty with international protection. It is true that most can be absorbed into adjusted boundaries but many will not be able to.

Thirdly, this represents an abandonment by Orthodox religious Zionists of the traditional pragmatism and unity of the Jewish people and adoption of the ideological extremism and isolation of such opponents of Orthodox religious Zionism such as Neturei Karta or Satmar. Dr. Lippe’s views resemble the ads Neturei Karta places in The New York Times.

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