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  • Moshe Feiglin, Zehut Chairman

Conscience and orders

“I was shocked, when some – however few – of the students in pre-military preparatory programs told me that they would listen to the rabbi and not to the commander” Lieberman, at the Herzliya Conference, sticking to the principle of “hatred is worth seats.” Once, it was hatred of the Arabs, and when the 48 hours passed and Haniyeh liquidated Lieberman, the hatred was directed at an easier enemy, the Haredim. Now, Lieberman is also adding the wearers of knitted skullcaps to the bonfire ... It’s hard to react to Lieberman, because as I said, everything in his politics is cynical, but the issue he raised is very important and must be addressed. To whom should a soldier listen? To his commander or the rabbi? When a soldier receives an immoral order, he doesn’t have to listen, neither to his commander nor to the rabbi – he must listen to his conscience, make his own decision and his values (left-wing or right-wing), and if he decides to disobey, he must demand (!) to be put on trial and he must be prepared to bear the full weight of the punishment. Passive disobedience, in extreme moral cases, with full readiness to bear the punishment, expresses a supreme civic responsibility that protects society from moral deterioration under the tyranny of the majority, on the one hand, and deterioration into anarchy – because the refuser is punished – on the other. When my son Avraham was sentenced to probation and dismissed from his unit because he couldn’t bear the crooked values that have taken root in the army, values that mean that the enemy’s life takes precedence over the life of our soldiers, it was the most important service to the People of Israel he could have given. I invite you to watch an interview on this subject from a year ago. [if you don’t see subtitles, click on the CC button]

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