Incoming IDF Chief Rabbi: I Never Said Israeli Soldiers Could Commit Rape

Rabbi Krim says he 'erred in often not formulating my words exactly ... and I am here to fully apologize.'

Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen
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IDF Chief Rabbi Eyal Krim on July 13, 2016 (prior to appointment).
IDF chief rabbi-designate Col. Eyal Krim, on July 13, 2016 (prior to appointment).Credit: IDF Spokesman's Office / Reuters
Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen

Designated military Chief Rabbi Eyal Krim repudiated his controversial statements on wartime rape and on homosexuals in an affidavit filed yesterday by the state prosecutor to the High Court of Justice.

Krim was to replace IDF Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz on Thursday. The affidavit came in response to an appeal by Meretz MKs Zehava Galon, Michal Rozin and Tamar Zandberg against the appointment following disparaging remarks by Krim about women and gays.

Krim wrote in the affidavit, “Every rabbi, educator or public figure is required to have the ability to retract and to admit a mistake. I do not hesitate to say I erred. I erred in answering briefly complex questions, which have more than one halakhic response,” referring to Jewish law. “I erred in often not formulating my words exactly, and some people where hurt by them,” he stated. “I have already written about this hurt, and I said I am here to fully apologize.”

Krim stressed: “I never said, never wrote and never even thought IDF soldiers may rape women in war. I believe it is absolutely forbidden for soldiers to do this. This was and is my viewpoint.”

He did admit that when he wrote a halakhic response on the Orthodox website “Kipa” that he did not sufficiently stress this prohibition.

Krim also was criticized after he’d said on “Kipa,” while he was a civilian, that homosexuals should be treated as “sick or having a defect.” He wrote in his affidavit, “We should treat LGBT community members equally and respectfully, like any other human being.” He said his previous position was also common in the medical and legal world, but that he understood that as things stand today, “this position is not accepted, and medicine and law also take a different approach.” He noted he has not changed his position based on the Torah against consummating same-sex relations.

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