In Israel, seven prominent rabbis — all leaders of the Union of Rabbis for the Land of Israel — declare that it is contrary to Jewish law for any Israeli solider to eject an Israeli settler from their land. This decision will affect thousands of Orthodox Jews in the Israeli military, though it's unclear how many will obey this new rabbinical decision.
Rabbi Haim Drukman, one of the seven rabbis, says when reading the ruling:
"We ruled that the Torah forbids evacuating army camps and transferring them to gentiles, because it nullifies a commandment and endangers lives and the existence of the state.
A permanent army camp is for all intents and purposes a Jewish settlement. Uprooting it and leaving it to gentiles is tantamount to uprooting a settlement from the Land of Israel. So it is clearly and simply forbidden for any Jew to assist in the evacuation of a settlement, a camp or facility.
The army has never put its soldiers in a situation in which they were forced to act against their religious, moral or national conscience," Rabbi Drukman continued. "We call on the Government and the army leadership not to force soldiers to choose between their values and army orders."
Many Orthodox leaders disagree with this ruling. Chief Ashkenazic Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau says:
"It is inconceivable to disobey orders. The Israel Defense Forces are the army of the entire people. If, God forbid, the Government sends down such a directive, the soldier has no alternative but to follow the order."
Rabbi Yehuda Amital says:
"There is no basis in Jewish law that requires religious soldiers to refuse orders in this case. I agree in principle that religious and moral imperatives are above military orders, but in this case there is no conflict. A call to disobey orders is very serious. This is a political act that can destroy the army."
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin says:
"There has never been anything like this in Israel. It is inconceivable that we will turn the State of Israel into a banana republic. It's unbelievable that in Israel, as a democracy, a very small number of rabbis will take upon themselves the right to act against the law. To call on a soldier to refuse legitimate orders means anarchy. We will not accept it. We will not allow it."