After a three-year legal battle, an Israeli judge acquitted two rabbis, Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpo and Rabbi Shabtai Weintraub, who were indicted for encouraging soldiers to disobey orders to evacuate settlements in 2009 and 2011. ‘Freedom of speech has a special constitutional status,’ the judge said in his ruling.
Two rabbis were acquitted Sunday from charges of inciting IDF soldiers to disobey orders after a judge ruled that “the test of democracy is the application of freedom of expression also when the expression irkes or even offends.”
Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpo, 68, from Beitar Illit, was accused of encouraging soldiers to disobey orders to evacuate settlements in two different instances in 2009 and 2011.
Wolpo and Rabbi Shabtai Weintraub were indicted in 2009 for handing out “Heroes of Israel” awards to IDF soldiers who were waving placards bearing the words “Shimshon Battalion won’t evacuate Homesh” during an IDF swearing-in ceremony at the Western Wall.