The preeminent Sefadi haredi rabbinic leader who is also the spiritual head of the Shas political party tell Israel's prime minister to keep illegal West Bank outposts built by West Bank settlers intact.
Rabbi Yosef to Netanyahu: Don't raze outposts
Shas' spiritual leader meets settler leaders, promises to support their efforts to prevent outpost evictions
Yair Altman • Ynet
Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef said Wednesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must under no circumstance raze illegal outposts set to be demolished.
Rabbi Yosef made the statements during a meeting with settler leaders and rabbis from Migron, Amona and Givat Yosef. Interior Minister Eli Yishai also participated in the meeting.
During the meeting, the settlers implored Rabbi Yosef to help them prevent the demolition of their outposts. The Shas leader promised to help them in their efforts.
The rabbi also asked minister Yishai to relay the following message to Netanyahu: "Although I respect him, he must under no circumstance destroy these communities."
Binyamin Council head Avo Roeh said after the meeting: "It's no secret that Rabbi Ovadia bears influence, surely on the prime minister and particularly following the Shalit deal.
"He agreed that this matter must be solved – not by razing and eviction of existing communities. I am optimistic, everyone is willing and able (to solve the matter). I am convinced the government will find a way."
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef used to be a dov. He supported the Oslo peace accord and supported giving up large parts of the West Bank for peace.
But in the ensuing 18 years, the housing shortage in haredi communities in Jerusalem has become extremely severe, and many haredim have chosen to live in the West Bank as a result.
About 1/3 of all West Bank settlers are now haredim.
As a result, haredi rabbis and politicians can no longer be doves.