New York – Yesterday 34 Israeli IDF officers, including four battalion commanders, sent a letter to Col. Mickey Edelstein, commander of the Binyamin District Brigade, stating: “We think that every order to execute the disengagement is a blatantly illegal order, with the black flag of illegality wavering over it. Soldiers are forbidden to carry out such orders, according to the country’s law and according to the IDF code of conduct. We demand that the military framework not force us to carry out something that our beliefs and consciences obligate us not to do. We will continue to serve our country whenever we are called in every mission that is connected with the IDF’s mission — fighting the enemy and protecting the country.
“We identify with the public figures who feel that Prime Minister Sharon has totally turned against the intentions of those who voted for him, and is blindly romping along and trampling, via the use of various manipulations, and pushing along a tainted and undemocratic process. There is no legitimacy to demand that the IDF and its soldiers adhere to the political echelons.”
Israel’s Arutz 7 News reports the “phenomenon of refusal to carry out disengagement-related orders is gaining steam, causing great concern within government and other circles.” Prime Minister Sharon, Defense Minister Sha’ul Mofaz, the chief IDF prosecutor and Justice Minister Tzippy Livni plan to convene separate meetings on this matter.
The Attorney General Mazuz has ordered a police investigation into two of the leading proponents of refusal: Kedumim mayor Daniella Weiss, whose son-in-law and his parents were recently murdered by Palestinian Arab terrorists, and Noam Livnat, rabbi, teacher, and brother of Education Minister Limor Livnat. Mayor Weiss said that “it is forbidden for a Hebrew soldier to carry out orders to expel another Jew from his home in the Land of Israel.”
Noam Livnat has gathered the signatures of 5,000 Israeli soldiers stating that they refuse to follow orders to forcibly throw 10,000 Jews, including children, out of their homes in the Jewish section of Gaza. Livnat said as soon as he gets 10,000 signatures, he will publicly release the IDF soldiers’ petition. Former Chief Rabbi Avraham Shapiro also publicly called for IDF soldiers to not participate in forcibly throwing Jews and their families out of their homes in Gaza.
Ariel Sharon himself made the following statement in July 1995, “As someone who has served in IDF many years, I say that a soldier must follow orders, but if a soldier feels that an order given him is against his conscience, he must personally stand before his commander, explain this to him, and be prepared to accept the consequences.”
Sharon then added, “The Israeli government must realize that when it talks about majority rule, this is also a crude distortion. Democracy cannot be a tyranny by the majority. They can’t just do whatever they want.”
MK Brig.-General (res.) Effie Eitan pleaded with Prime Minister Sharon, “The army should not be ordered to evacuate and grapple with citizens.”
Also, a new poll for Israeli Radio came out yesterday, Jan. 5, 2005, showing that only “42% of adult Israelis support the new Likud-Labor-UTJ (United Torah Judaism) coalition government slated to be formed next week.”