A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
December 13, 2009 Barak Cancels Relationship With Hesder Yeshiva, Obama's Survey of Israeli Public Opinion
Tonight, Defense Minister Barak cancelled the relationship between the IDF and the Yeshiva "Har Baruch", a yeshiva that, until now, has been a Hesder Yeshiva. This will be the first time since Hesder Yeshivas were established (in 1966) the IDF has ended a relationship with a Yeshiva. [A "Hesder Yeshiva" is one in which the students spend part of their army service in regular service and part of it studying in the Yeshiva. Barak took his action after the head of the Yeshiva refused to meet with Barak and state he would not call for Sarbanoot a refusal to follow orders. The issue comes down to the actions of a number of Heads of Yeshivas who have publicly stated their students would not follow orders to remove settlers. There was criticism by supporters of Rabbi Eliezer, the head of Yeshiva Har Baruch, stating he is not the only one making the statements; almost all the Hesder Rabbis are saying the same thing. Of course that begs the question of whether the Hesder Yeshivas should continue at all.
This happened the same day the Netanyhu government approved the new map of towns that would get additional funds. 92% of the funds would go to town and villages in the Galil and Negev, many of them are arab towns and villages and was not controversial. The controversy occurred over the 8% of funds (110 million shekels) going to 90 settlements in the West Bank, (many of them, beyond the settlement blocks.) Barak, who according to a spokesman for Netanyahu had supported the plan, tried to block the approval in the cabinet. He argued that it was absurd to give support to some of those towns in the west bank that were supporting vandalism and hooliganism against Arabs in the West Bank.
Barak was specifically referring to an event that took place on Friday, one that thankfully received very little world wide publicity. He was referring to the burning and vandalizing of a mosque in the Arab town of Yasuf. The attack was done, allegedly, by settlers angry at the settlement freeze. Some moderate West Bank settlers, led by the renowned Rabbi of Tekoah, Rabbi Fruman, reached out and led a march to the town to bring it new Korans.
The Obama administration recently engaged in poll taking in Israel. The result of the poll showed that 42% of Israelis had a positive view of President Obama. 51% of Israelis supported Prime Minister Netanyahu. The most interesting results of the poll showed that if President Obama came forth with a peace plan that had the support of Prime Minister Netanyahu, even if there were painful compromises: 70% of Israelis would support it. On the other hand, if Obama were to put forth a plan which Netnayahu opposes, only 42% would support it while 48% would oppose that plan.