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July 25, 2016 / 19 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Israel Defense Forces’

Analysis: Deputy Chief of Staff Compares IDF to Nazis, Then Says He Didn’t

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Yair Golan, speaking at a commemoration of the Holocaust, said he sees in today’s Israel evidence of events that took place in Europe before the Holocaust. The ceremony, at the Massuah Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Kibbutz Tel Yitzhak, included dignitaries like Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi), who were visibly unhappy with what the man who could some day lead the Jewish Army thought about his subordinates.

Maj. Gen. Golan, who is the child of a Holocaust survivor whose entire family was murdered by the Nazis, said that what truly frightens him in recalling the Holocaust is to identify the same blood curdling processes that took place in Germany and in the rest of Europe “70, 80, and 90 years ago, and discovering evidence of their taking place here, among us, in 2016.”

Golan summed up the characteristics he found in both pre-Holocaust Europe and in 2016 Israel as follows: hatred of foreigners, fear mongering, brutalization, rhinocerization and self-righteousness. The one before last term refers to the 1959 play Rhinocéros by Eugène Ionesco, a Romanian exile in Paris, who explains Nazism and Fascism in a satirical tale of a small, provincial French town whose people turn into rhinoceroses.

The Golan statement goes to show that being the child of a Holocaust survivor does not automatically qualify one to be able to make convincing analogies between the state-organized, industrialized slaughter of six million Jews and what amounts to 150 years of a difficult relationship between neighbors in Israel. The comparison, inaugurated by the late professor of chemistry and ingenious commentator on Jewish law and Jewish history, Yeshayahu Leibowitz, who coined the term Judonazis, has been rejected with contempt by many Israelis, most notably the late Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin:

In 1993, Prof. Leibowitz was selected for the highest national award, the Israel Prize. Before the award ceremony, Leibowitz was invited to speak to the Israel Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, where his controversial remarks calling upon Israeli soldiers to refuse orders triggered outrage, and PM Yitzhak Rabin threatened to boycott the Israel Prize ceremony. The IP jury convened to withdraw the award from the provocative and intentionally nasty professor, but Leibowitz quickly announced that he would refuse to accept the prize, taking charge of his own public execution.

Maj. Gen. Golan on Wednesday night may have walked into his own public execution, which explains why he and the IDF spokesperson’s office and Army Radio have been swimming the backstroke all of Thursday trying to persuade a livid nation that the deputy chief did not mean the IDF was starting to look like the Wehrmacht.

So, here is what the man next in line to lead the IDF said about the IDF (translated from the full text of his speech, courtesy of Ha’aretz):

Saying that Holocaust Memorial Day must also be a day of national reckoning, Golan suggested such reckoning must include “unsettling phenomena.” Referring to the public debate over the purity of the weapon (a uniquely Israeli term, dating back to the pre-state years, meaning when Jews use their weapons they must do so ethically), he said he wished to comment on the matter.

The most notable “unsettling phenomenon” Golan was citing had taken place on Purim day, when two Arab terrorists stabbed an IDF soldier in the neck at a check post outside Hebron in Judea. The force at the site shot down both terrorists, killing one and neutralizing the other. About ten minutes after the incident, a 19-year-old medic who served with the same unit showed up to help treat the stabbed soldier, and was documented by a B’Tselem video as he shot dead the terrorist who was still living, who was lying on the ground. The IDF and the Defense Ministry reacted at lightening-speed to the video, turning what would have probably resulted in a disciplinary action, if at all, into a murder investigation. The sheer audacity of the military prosecution in attempting to pin a murder charge (which has now been reduced to manslaughter) on a combat soldier aroused a groundswell of popular protest, the likes of which Israel’s security apparatus brass had rarely faced before; and the protest also served to enhance the demarcation between left and right, Zionist and anti-Zionist, ruling elites and everyone else in Israel. When you read Maj. Gen. Golan’s notes below, keep all of that in mind as the subtext.

“Irregular use of weapons, and damage to the purity of the weapon have taken place in the IDF since its founding,” Golan conceded, adding, “The pride of the IDF has always been in our ability to investigate difficult incidents, without bias, to bravely investigate problematic behavior, and to accept full responsibility for the good but also for the bad and the unlawful. We didn’t justify, we didn’t hide, we didn’t paint over, we didn’t wink, we didn’t roll up our eyes to the heavens, we also didn’t make excuses. Our path has been and will continue to be the path of truth and accepting responsibility, even when the truth is hard to take and the responsibility heavy. We believe in the righteousness of our path — but not everything we do is righteous. We trust the morality of the IDF as an institution, but we do not overlook the exceptions. We demand of our soldiers precisely what we demand of ourselves, and we insist that being a personal example be second nature to every commander.”

Education Minister Naftali Bennett issued a tweet saying, “One minute before the Holocaust deniers turn these erroneous words into a flag, one minute before our soldiers are compared to Nazis, God forbid, with approval from the brass, [we say] the deputy chief of staff made a mistake and he must correct it at once.”

The IDF released a statement saying, “The Deputy Chief Of Staff wishes to clarify that he had no intention of comparing the IDF and the State of Israel with events that took place in Germany 70 years ago. The comparison is absurd and utterly groundless, and there was no intent to create such a comparison, nor to criticize the political echelon. The IDF is a moral army which observes the purity of the weapon and the dignity of man.”

But, of course, he did just that, he compared the IDF and the State of Israel with events that took place in Germany 70 years ago — in fact, that very reference is a quote from his speech, spoken with a self-righteous tone reserved to the members of the ruling elite when they describe the plebeian masses who foolishly fail to adhere to the wisdom and moral uprightness garnered by decades of being in charge.

Come to think of it, the Golan speech was the perfect analogy for the decadence, hatred of foreigners, fear mongering, brutalization, rhinocerization and self-righteousness — of Israel’s Jewish left, and Holocaust Memorial Day was the perfect time for such an analogy.

The fact that a man who compares his subordinates to Nazis may be considered to replace the current chief of staff, who, for his part, has told the nation that the rabbinic principle of “He who rises to kill you, kill him first” is merely a metaphor and not a moral principle; and that both men are commanded by a Defense Minister who keeps Jews in prison for many months without charges, and uses brute force to evict Jewish dwellers from their homes — while permitting widespread illegal Arab dwellings — those are crucial lessons Jews must learn and absorb, lest we are tempted to believe that what followed the Nazi Holocaust was a full Jewish liberation.

There’s still a whole lot more liberation left to be done.

JNi.Media

Gunfire From Gaza Hits IDF Vehicle After Netanyahu’s Visit to Border

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

By Joshua B. Dermer/TPS

Nahal Oz (TPS) – An Israeli army vehicle was hit by gunfire from the Gaza Strip on Tuesday just hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited troops stationed on Gaza border and inspected a recently uncovered Hamas “terror tunnel” reaching into Israeli territory.

A military vehicle was struck near Nahal Oz, an Israeli community just beyond the security fence bordering the northern Gaza Strip, the IDF announced. The vehicle suffered damage but no one was injured in the incident.

Earlier in the day, Netanyahu toured the southern area of the Gazan border accompanied by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Col. Gadi Eizenkot and inspected the Hamas tunnel uncovered by IDF forces several weeks ago. Netanyahu and Ya’alon were briefed by Gen. Eyal Zamir, Director of the Southern Command, on the most up-to-date Gaza survey findings.

“Tomorrow is Holocaust Remembrance Day. Seventy years ago we were like a leaf in the wind, with no defense force and helpless. We were slaughtered,” Netanyahu told soldiers of the 51st battalion stationed at the border. “Today we have a country and we have an army. We have the ability to defend ourselves on all fronts, both near and remote. What drives me is to secure the future of Israel and its people.”

“We are in the eye of the storm,” Netanyahu continued. “You see what’s happening. Millions are fleeing for their lives to Europe, and we have ISIS in the Golan on the other side [of the border], and ISIS here on the other side,” he said, referring to extremist forces in the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Desert.

“We are basically in the eye of the storm, and relative to the area we are the most stable, tranquil, and safest country.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

IDF Promises Yad L’Achim, ‘Soldiers Won’t Be Taken to Missionary Events’

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

A special letter from the Israel Defense Forces arrived in the headquarters of the Yad L’Achim anti-missionary organization this week in response to a complaint filed by the group.

The letter was sent two years ago after it was learned that 300 officers and soldiers from the army’s most elite units had been bused to an event that included a missionary pitch by an American preacher.

Yad L’Achim appealed to the defense minister and IDF chief of staff, calling for an investigation into the event, demanding to know who authorized taking the uniformed soldiers from their base to a missionary event. More important, who would assure that it didn’t happen again?

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot sent a letter upon assuming his post last year assuring Yad L’Achim “that the incident is being investigated by commanders in order to prevent a recurrence.”

Yad L’Achim followed up and learned that the missionaries were planning to hold another event for soldiers this past Sukkot.

Rabbi Chanoch Gechtman, who has been coordinating Yad L’Achim’s campaign to protect soldiers from missionaries, immediately turned to the IDF upper echelons with the information. The rabbi attached to his letter a copy of Eisenkot’s commitment and sought urgent clarification.

A few days before the event was scheduled to take place, Rabbi Gechtman received a call from the army assuring him that no soldiers would participate.

Last week, the IDF Manpower Agency finally made it official in a letter, clarifying that the orders had been forwarded to all IDF units: Accepting invitations for soldiers to participate in missionary events is absolutely forbidden.

IDF letter to Yad L'Achim clarifying that no soldiers will be taken to missionary events.

IDF letter to Yad L’Achim clarifying that no soldiers will be taken to missionary events.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef Visits Joseph’s Tomb (and Arabs Burn It Down Again)

Monday, October 19th, 2015

Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, the Rishon LeZion – rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat Hazon Ovadia and Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel — made a visit to the Tomb of the Biblical Patriarch Joseph late Sunday night with security provided by the Israel Defense Forces.

The goal was to assess the damage to the site perpetrated by Palestinian Arabs – including Palestinian Authority police acting as terrorists – and to protest that damage.

Following the visit by the chief rabbi, the tomb was once again burned down by enraged Palestinian Arabs.

The convoy in which the esteemed rabbi was traveling was attacked by Palestinian Arabs who threw stones at the vehicles as they drove towards the site, which is located in the ancient city of Shechem. The city today is inhabited by Palestinian Arabs and is called “Nablus,” however, and is controlled by the Palestinian Authority, although under the Oslo Accords the PA is required to allow Jews to access the holy tomb in order to pray.

Hana Levi Julian

IDF Guarding Jerusalem Buses and Light Rail

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

The IDF has deployed approximately 300 soldiers in Jerusalem to guard major bus routes, the light rail system and roads in what might be the first time the army has patrolled in the city for decades.

Troops were called in last week to beef up the police force, but today’s deployment at specific points makes the capital look more like a war zone. However, it is temporary because a non-military security system is in the works.

Foreign media might now decide to depict Jerusalem as being under military rule, but the deployment of soldiers clearly makes the public feel more secure in the city where walking in the street or riding a bus has been a journey of fear of being stabbed by a Jerusalem Arab terrorist.

Passenger traffic on Jerusalem buses was down 30 percent for one or two days last week, and usually bustling shops were nearly empty.

The failure of many Arab stabbing attacks to inflict heavy damage the past several days has led Hamas to incite terrorists to run over Jewish pedestrian, similar to the ramming of a vehicle into people at a bus stop last week in a Hareidi area. The terrorist who drove the vehicle was killed on the spot.

There is nothing like seeing an armed soldier in his IDF uniform to instill a bit of pride and security in people as well as being déjà vu of the Six-Day War in 1967, when the Old City, Mount Scopus, home of Hadassah Hospital, and other areas in southern, northern and eastern Jerusalem were restored to the city.

This week began with relative quiet, rock-throwing continues in several locations in Judea and Samaria, but no major incidents have been reported.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Police Foil Jerusalem Attack by Terrorist in Combat Fatigues

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

Alert Israeli police officers stymied an Arab terrorist Wednesday afternoon who attempted to stab Israelis at the Damascus Gate entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem.

The terrorist was wearing combat fatigues, according to the Hebrew-language 0404 website. He allegedly ran to attack a security guard who was protecting a family as they walked through the entrance to the Old City.

Security forces saw him attempt to stab the guard and shot him.

“The terrorist was in an Israeli uniform in order to mislead the forces, but they identified him quickly and put him out of action,” a witness told the website.

On closer examination, it appears it was Palestinian Authority combat fatigues.

Hana Levi Julian

American and Canadian Jews Flying on Aliyah in Face of Terror

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Sixty-five Jews from 13 states and Quebec, Canada are scheduled to set foot on their home around 7 a.m. Wednesday.

The Nefesh B’Nefesh Aliyah flight will carry passengers whose ages range from 10 months to 83 years, along with five men and women volunteering in the Israel Defense Forces as “lone soldiers” without family in Israel.

The new olim are from Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Maine, Maryland, Ohio and Quebec.

Nefesh B’Nefesh Co-Founder and Executive Director Rabbi Yehoshua Fass said:

We are truly inspired that despite the extremely difficult times Israel is currently experiencing, Olim are undeterred and are still making Aliyah.

Their choice to leave a comfortable life and move to Israel, and even more so in these times, is an important contribution to Israel’s strength and national morale. We are proud to accompany each immigrant through the Aliyah process and will use all means at our disposal to ensure their successful absorption and acclimatization to Israeli society.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/american-and-canadian-jews-flying-on-aliyah-in-face-of-terror/2015/10/13/

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