Defense Ministry Summons Anti-gay Rabbi Who Criticized Israeli Army

Defense Ministry chief tells rabbis Levinstein and Sadan that their comments violate military code on preserving human dignity

Rabbi Eli Sadan, left, speaking with Rabbi Yigal Levinstein and IDF chief Gadi Eisenkot, 2016. Photo: Lior Shtull / Bnei David military academy

The Defense Ministry on Thursday reprimanded rabbis Yigal Levinstein and Eli Sadan, who head a prominent pre-army religious academy, saying their recent anti-gay comments violate the Israeli military’s code of conduct.

Defense Ministry Director-General Udi Adam told the pair that the IDF code includes as one of its core values the preservation of “human dignity,” which defines the way in which all its soldiers must act. According to the code, “the army and its soldiers are obligated to protect human dignity. Every person is valuable, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, nationality, gender, standing or role.”

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“‘The Spirit of the IDF,’ the army’s ethics code, specifies ‘human dignity’ as the fundamental, supreme moral value. All human beings are of inherent value regardless of race, creed, nationality, gender, status or role,” Adam told the men, according to a Defense Ministry statement.

“There is no doubt that excluding the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community from society contradicts the most fundamental IDF values,” Adam added. 

The meeting took place at the ministry’s Tel Aviv headquarters. 

Read the full story in Haaretz (some browsers require logging in)