Another Attempt To Fire Rav Haim Druckman

The Jerusalem Post reports Jan. 13, 2010:

The Civil Service Authority wrote a letter this week calling on the Prime Minister’s Office to terminate Rabbi Haim Druckman as head of the National Conversion Authority, following the expiration of his contract at the end of 2009.

However, Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar asked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to lengthen Druckman’s term for an additional six months.

Amar’s spokesman said Wednesday that Amar had received “positive signals from the prime minister” that he would acquiesce to the chief rabbi’s request.

“We will be meeting with the prime minister soon,” said the spokesman.

Meanwhile, Druckman told The Jerusalem Post that he had not heard anything about plans to terminate him.

Asked if he wanted to remain at the helm of the conversion authority, Druckman said that he did not.

Last time there was an attempt to fire him from the conversion authority, Rav Druckman refused to go and there was nothing his critics could do to force him to leave.

Everyone Druckman’s critics tried to get to replace him refused to take the job.

Haaretz reported Jan. 7, 2010:

Rabbi Haim Druckman, who heads the committee of hesder yeshivas, on Wednesday told an aide to prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhau that he strongly objects to insubordination among Israel Defense Forces soldiers serving in the West Bank.

Druckman added that there are cases in which a soldier cannot execute orders that are contrary to his conscience, in the same way that “a person with a broken hand cannot carry a heavy load.”

He clarified that he does not view this as insubordination.

The IDF (Israeli Defense Force) has a major problem. The law that established the IDF says that a soldier can never be forced to do something that he finds morally indefensible. So the IDF has never wanted to court marshal any of these Religious Zionist soldiers who did not want to follow orders removing settlers from Gush Katif etc.

There are various punishments the IDF can levy on a soldier. A company commander has broad discretion to hand out minor punishments.

The IDF has so far dealt with refusal to carry out on orders on religious grounds within the company. They’ve never tried to court martial someone. The IDF doesn’t want the confrontation. If you court martial someone, the guy has a right to put on a defense.

In a military court, you can stack the judges and not get a conviction. If you get a conviction, it is going to be appealed to the civil courts and to the Supreme Court, which is likely to overturn the court martial. Even the most left-wing justice will say that if a guy says he find this order morally objectionable, you can’t force him to carry it out.

For these reasons, the IDF has been bending over backwards to not get these things into a court martial.

Rav Druckman heads the hesder yeshivot.

From Wikipedia:

Hesder (in Hebrew: “arrangement”; or Yeshivat Hesder ????? ????) is an Israeli yeshiva program which combines advanced Talmudic studies with military service in the Israel Defense Forces, usually within a Religious Zionist framework. These yeshivot allow religious Jews to fulfill the ideal of full and active participation in the defense of the Israeli people, while still engaging in intense Torah study during their formative years.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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