The Rabbi Unfit for Service in Israel

Haaretz Editorial: Last summer Rabbi Yigal Levinstein slammed the military for the tolerance it demonstrates toward the gay community, whose members he called ‘perverts.’ Last week he vilified the recruitment of young Orthodox Jewish women. An individual who holds such chauvinistic views cannot be part of a system that prepares thousands of religious youths for military service.

Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, the head of the Bnei David pre-military academy in Eli, has once again criticized the army for making it possible for Israelis from a variety of communities to serve on an equal basis.

Last summer Levinstein slammed the military for the tolerance it demonstrates toward the gay community, whose members he called “perverts.”

Last week he vilified the recruitment of young Orthodox Jewish women. “They’ve driven our girls crazy,” he said, in a lecture to students of the Otzem pre-military academy in Atzmona. “They draft them into the army. They go in Jewish but they aren’t Jewish when they come out … Their whole value system becomes confused, their priorities: home, career. They’ll make them all crazy; we mustn’t agree to this.”

Twenty-eight pre-military academy heads condemned Levinstein’s remarks on Wednesday. But that is not sufficient. An individual who holds such chauvinistic views cannot be part of a system that prepares thousands of religious youths for military service. Nor is it enough not to invite him to address soldiers; Levinstein must also be prohibited from addressing candidates for military service.

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