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Rabbi Ovadia to Decide: Bomb or Bombing?

Israel, Ma'ariv

By Ben Caspit

Could it be that he was also briefed that the heads of the security branches support an attack?


Translated by Viktoria Lymar

Edited by Steven Stenzler


25 August 2012



In Israel, no one raises a brow when a parade of security officials marches to the Rabbi’s yard to consult with him on the subject of bombing Iran. Why does this sound logical to us?


Now they are trying to convince Rabbi Ovadia Yosef1. Or, alternatively, they are acting as if they are trying to convince Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. The tragedy is that this looks and sounds reasonable.

Israel 2012 has become, without our noticing, a country where nobody raises a brow when a parade of securitists2 are marching together to the yard of an over 90 year-old Rabbi, in order to explain to him the strategic nuances between 'a bomb and bombing', the implications of igniting the Persian Gulf and the Middle East and their intermixing, the margins of statistical error in operations research, according to ‘the Decision Maker,’ that only 500 people will be killed, if and when. 

Yes, yes, that all makes perfect sense to us, and to the world watching us in amused surprise. Who knows, maybe in the end, the [ultimate] decision about bombing Iran will be made in the Council of Torah Sages3 instead of the cabinet. It’s a pity that ‘the Decider of the Generation’4 is no longer with us. He could have had a good connection with ‘the Decision Maker.’

By the way, the manipulations on Shas5 weren’t born yesterday. Eli Yishai6 once experienced, first hand, a fascinating manipulation (it happened in the past, in the period when there were discussions in the Forum of Eight [Senior Ministers]7 (whilst it still was, it seems to me, only a Forum of Seven). This intimate forum went through an intensive ‘learning workshop’ on all Iranian-strategic issues, one by one, for many dozens of hours. 

All of a sudden, on one occasion, such deliberation changed its skin and instead of focusing on a certain issue related to the subject (as the discussion was defined from the very beginning), ‘the Decision Maker’ and ‘the First to Identify’ (the Defense Minister and Prime Minister) committed on it an act of coercion. Pressure was put on the ministers of the octet, but some kind of isolation was maintained between them and the professionals – the heads of the security arms at that time – who looked at the goings-on with great amazement, raised their eyebrows and even passed notes to each other. 

A break in the discussion was announced. During the breaktime, Eli Yishai, actually who then was wobbling badly between opposition (his initial position) and indecision, or even support (under the heavy pressure of Bibrak8) went out to sit for a minute with some chiefs of the security services.

“I was told that you are for [the attack],” Yishai said to them. “We are against,” they answered him. Yishai, according to the testimonies, was nearly shocked. "But they told me"– he replied. They indeed told him, let him understand that the professional ranks were supporting it – while in reality, they were opposing. The stunned Yishai sobered up, and stuck to his opposition. This incredible scene was witnessed by at least one more senior minister.

The Iranians are the same Iranians, the sea is the same sea; now, [they] are skipping over Yishai and heading straight to the Rabbi. Could it be that he was also told that the heads of the security branches (who meanwhile have changed, but haven’t completely changed their minds) support [an attack]?

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The above is an abstract from a larger  original Hebrew article:

Proto credit: Ma'ariv


See also: Back to Future

Dichter's Joining Implies Netanyahu's Intentions

Yes to Bombing, on Three Conditions



1. Former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, a recognized Talmudic scholar and foremost halakhic authority. Currently serves as the spiritual leader of the Shas political party in the Knesset [Israeli parliament]. His halakhic responsa are highly regarded within Orthodox circles and are considered binding in many Mizrahi communities, among whom he is regarded as "the most important living halachic authority."

2. Exact original Hebrew word - bitchonist: one sharing Israel’s bitachonist -'securitist' - orientation the major premises of which are that the Jewish state is involved in a battle for survival with its Arab neighbors and that a major military defeat would mean its annihilation. The primary means to prevent this destruction is maintenance of absolute and permanent Israeli military superiority... The Israeli state is regarded as the ultimate authority for determining the organization, location, duration of [the military].(According to B. Kimmerling)

3. Supreme rabbinical policy-making council of any of several related Haredi [ultra-Orthodox] Jewish organizations.

4. Posek HaDor, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv – venerated leader of the Lithuanian Haredi [ultra-Orthodox] community in Israel and one of the most well-known figures in the Haredi world, who recently passed away. Posek is the term in Jewish law for "decider/ruler"– a legal scholar who decides the Halakha in cases of law where previous authorities are inconclusive or in those situations where no halakhic precedent exists. In the Haredi [ultra-Orthodox] world, each community will regard one of its poskim as its Posek HaDor ("Posek of the present Generation") - the foremost leading halachic arbiter of the Jewish people. (For the Sephardi Jews it is probably Rabbi Ovadia Yosef)

5. Ultra-orthodox religious political party in Israel. Founded in 1984 under the leadership of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who remains its spiritual leader today, it primarily represents the interests of religiously observant Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews

6. Head of the Shas party; currently serves as a member of the Knesset [Israeli parliament] for Shas, and as both one of four Deputy Prime Ministers and Minister of Internal Affairs.

7. Shminiya” [Heb.] – “octet”, sort of more intimate consultative body, Netanyahu’s inner cabinet that used to vote on all major policy proposals

8. Bibi + Barak