Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of Tzfat, was interviewed by Radio Kol Rega on sunday regarding the soldier who shot and killed a neutralized terrorist.
When asked if he considers the soldier to be a hero or a criminal, Rabbi Eliyahu responded: "I think the question of whether he's a hero or a criminal is for the IDF Chief of Staff and the Minister of Defense, who for over half a year have not been able to stop the spilling of blood and are now going after this soldier. Instead of using a firm hand against these murderers, they are great at releasing murderers from prison and giving money to the Palestinian Authority to incite all the time.
"More than 30 people have already been murdered, hundreds wounded, and hundreds of families have been hurt, and they say that it is legitimate and we need to 'contain' it. This soldier is their big tragedy and everyone needs to go after him, from the Chief of Staff and the Defense Minister to the Knesset members. Where are these brigadier generals? Why do they get a salary and a pension? What are they doing with themselves? Where is the IDF?" wondered Rabbi Eliyahu.
The rabbi said he saw a connection between the recent beard controversy in the army and the current furor. "I think that Eizenkot should be called to order. He is busy with beards. This is the nonsense he has in his head. They made you Chief of Staff in order to defend the people, and the people are being murdered here every day."
When asked if Chief of Staff Eizenkot's statement on not emptying a full magazine into a girl with scissors is unreasonable, Rabbi Eliyahu answered: "It's unreasonable that, for half a year, we have not overcome terror. That's what's unreasonable. I will not give him tips on how to fight terror – I'm sure he learned it in the Command and Staff School – but the system's stupid attitude, there are no other words for it, will break the soldiers' spirit. He's only putting this poor soldier on trial? He's putting on trial all of the soldiers who will now be mistreated. How many soldiers will be killed because of this softness that prevents you from shooting?"
The rabbi offered several steps that he believes should be taken to stop terror. "I don't need to invent new ways, since the generals are experts in giving restraining orders to Jews. Enough Jews received restraining orders for nothing, but we can't give restraining orders to terrorists' families? We can't deport them? Why is it only good for Jews and not for Arabs? When you want a solution you can find one. When you want to, you fight, and when you want to, you 'contain.' Who released the terrorists? Who released the murderers? Who released them? We did. Why? Just because.
"In my opinion, IDF needs to act like Mickey Levy. Prime Minister Shamir said: anyone who comes to attack us needs to know that he will not get out of it alive. His family will be deported to Gaza and all his family's possessions will be confiscated and used for the good of the family he hurt," concluded the rabbi.