Insubordination is appropriate when government is illegitimate.

When a number of soldiers refused to participate in the evictions of Jews from Hebron The pros and cons of such insubordination were discussed in an article on Netanyahu‘s reaction and one written by Aryeh Eldad. Many people took the trouble to comment. I myself called for insubordination or conscientious objection, if you will.

In fact I commented on Mass defection would bring the government to its knees

Personally I believe that when a government becomes illegitimate it should not be followed. Of course it is not always easy to discern when the line from legitimate to illegitimate has been crossed. Is it enough not to have the support of the people. Many argue that once elected, leaders are expected to lead and not follow public opinion. I argue, only to a point.

The issue of keeping or giving away Judea and Samaria is so fundamental to Judaism and Zionism that a government at odds with the people is not legitimate. Fundamental principals are what wars are fought over.

I later expanded on this in Israel’s Moment of Truth

Dov Berkovitz in his present Essay: No to ‘majority’ tyranny says much the same thing.

[..] WE SHOULD be deeply respecting of young men who have volunteered to serve in elite IDF units, unlike many of their generation, who do not follow orders blindly and are willing to pay the price for their actions.

* Second, the constitutional issue raises the question of the very essence of Israel as a Jewish, democratic state. The legal and political realities of the United States were fashioned on the basis of an enlightened Constitution. At the core of the Constitution is its Bill of Rights. Though the US Supreme Court has shifted in its interpretation of the Constitution over the years, this fundamental document has always been accepted as providing the framework for political struggle.

In Israel there is no constitution and no bill of rights. As a result Israel has no binding formulation of national legality and legitimacy that reflects a commonly held statement of the basic values embodied in the existence of the state. In this situation the government, the Knesset and the Supreme Court are permitted to violate fundamental historical realities regarding the very raison d’etre of the Jewish state as long as political machinations and basic cultural attitudes can combine to create “law” as temporary consensus.

I BELIEVE the founders of Israel formulated tenets that established the philosophical contours of our state, and set boundaries on the use of political power. One such foundational tenet was the purpose of the establishment of the IDF.

Israel was created because of the tragic defenselessness of the Jewish people in the Exile. The IDF was established to protect Jewish homes and synagogues from destruction.

Here lies the basic constitutional issue – does a government in Israel have the right to order the IDF to destroy law-abiding and lawfully created Jewish communities in Israel and exile Jews from their synagogues for “military and diplomatic necessity”?

Perhaps it is necessary for the existence of the state to allow for such an eventuality, as Max Singer claims. However, such a decision is clearly a reformulation of part of the historical bedrock on which the Jewish state rose.

And if that is the case, where was the national dialogue on this fundamental issue? Who were the major intellectual or spiritual figures that determined the role of the IDF would now be similar to that of armies in liberal democracies and not that fashioned from the unique destiny of Jewish history? Ahmed Tibi and Omri Sharon? [..]

August 31, 2007 | 2 Comments »

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  2. Firstly I agree. The government has effectively become illegitimate. Secondly under the mandate as adopted by the Leaque or Nations and the UN, the land from the Mediterranean to the Jordan was given to all Jews, not just to Israel. Therefore Israel has no right to give away Judea and Samaria on behalf of the diaspora Jews without a referendum of the diaspora Jews.