Chief Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar criticized the settlers who raided an IDF base in the West Bank overnight Tuesday, but added that their actions stemmed from "genuine pain."
During a visit to the headquarters of the Ephraim Brigade on Wednesday, Amar met with Brigade Commander Colonel Ran Kahane and his deputy, who were both attacked by rightists during the riots.
During the meeting, which was also attended by IDF Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz, Amar said, "I have come here to bolster the brigade commander and his soldiers, and also to strengthen the men (rioters) by rebuking and reprimanding them, and trying to explain their actions to them – they are also in need of bolstering.
"They must be told that (their behavior) hurts the entire nation of Israel, including their rabbis and teachers," he said.
"What transpired here was the result of deep and genuine pain. We've witnessed similar incidents during the disengagement (from Gaza) - but then it was more severe. People should be allowed to express their pain, but they don't have to yell. There are proper ways to express pain, and people are entitled to strive to achieve goals they deem worthy," said the rabbi.
Rabbi Amar (L) with Colonel Kahane (Photo courtesy of Shomron Regional Council)
Later, during a meeting with representatives from Migron, Amar said he hoped the West Bank outpost would not be evicted. "I will pray with all my heart and do all I can so that the wrongful order to destroy the community will be annulled. This injustice must be fought with all available legal means," the rabbi said.
Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino said Israel Police has "taken off its gloves in the battle against the criminal phenomenon in which mosques and state symbols are targeted."
While visiting a police station in Lod Wednesday, Danino said the police force would use all the means at its disposal to curb right-wing violence and bring the perpetrators to justice.
"Even if takes a while, eventually we will reach those who - with their criminal behavior – are igniting the country and are undermining democracy and the rule of law."