A new Facebook page, “I too won’t demolish a synagogue,” has opened in the last few days in protest at the Supreme Court decision to demolish the synagogue in Givat Ze’ev.
The page has already garnered over 1,600 “likes” and features pictures from, apparently, soldiers signaling their intent to refuse orders should they be called on to assist with the demolition of the synagogue.
A Border Police officer holds a sign saying “I too won’t demolish a synagogue.” (Photo: Facebook)
It should be noted, however, that none of the soldiers have been photographed with their face exposed or with any identifying features at all, save for their army clothes.
In the past, when Border Police officers have been caught posting inappropriate content or messages on social media, they have been removed from their unit.
Last week Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon that those who have holed themselves up inside the synagogue are “bullies who built the structure on private Palestinian land and added a guest house in order to make money.” He also added that the synagogue should have been demolished long ago.
An IDF soldier holds a sign saying “I too won’t demolish a synagogue,” in front of the Western Wall. (Photo: Facebook)
According to the Supreme Court’s decision, 48 hours remain in which to demolish the synagogue, prompting the protest on social media. Among the units represented on the Facebook page are the Border Police, the Tank Corps, the Golani Brigade, the G’dud 46 Brigade, the Kfir Brigade and field intelligence.
Individuals supposedly from these units have photographed either themselves or parts of their army uniform with a sign saying that they won’t demolish a synagogue. One sign said: “Mosques and churches are not demolished but synagogues are? Have you gone mad?”
The Facebook page “I too won’t demolish a synagogue.”
The protest has been gaining ground, just as the government on Sunday reached a solution regarding the building of a replacement synagogue close to the one slated for demolition.
IDF soldiers are not expected to take part in the demolition, but rather Israel Police officers, along with Border Police and Yasam (Special Patrol) units. The assignment of security forces is similar to that seen during the demolition of the Dreinof houses in Beit El around two months ago.
The synagogue at Givat Ze’ev. (Photo: Gil Yochanan)
The Beit El demolitions prompted similar online protests, although in the end no one refused to perform their duties throughout the evacuation and destruction of the buildings.
As of publication, it was unknown whether the IDF intends to locate the soldiers who have uploaded photos or subject them to disciplinary proceedings.