LABOR PARTY LEADER:
WE FEAR RELIGIOUS IN HIGH ARMY POSITIONS

Comment by Alan Lazerte, CFICEJ;

"The former Labour Government of Rabin-Peres appointed many "left wing"soldiers to officer rank, including Generals. They are still Generals, opposed to Settlers and Settlements in Judea,Samaria and Gaza; yet they are in charge of "protecting" the Settlers and "Settlements" they detest!

QUESTION: Who should be afraid of whom ?


Why did Shlomo Gazit compare the knitted kippa worn by religious soldiers to the swastika worn by Nazis in the German Army? General (reserves) Shlomo Gazit is the former head of IDF military intelligence and is now a research fellow at the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University. But while Gazit later told reporters that his comment last Thursday night drew more applause than opposition from the seminar audience which heard his remark, the political leadership of his Leftist camp roundly denounced the comparison. Faced with this criticism, Gazit has now issued a cold apology via the press and to the Haredi Chief Rabbi of Israel, explaining that all he wants is for the army to issue a standard kippa for soldiers to wear. To date he has not said anything directly to the representatives of the injured party - the religious Zionist camp.

In order to provide readers with insight into the motivation for such a comment, IMRA interviewed a leader from the Labor Party on conditions of anonymity on Friday afternoon March 6. IMRA: I wanted to ask you for a reaction to what Shlomo Gazit said yesterday.

C: Terrible. I am certain however that it was taken out of context. It sounds terrible. I am certain that he intended to say something which is correct to say and it came out bad. The comparison to the Nazis was bad. It is not permissible.
IMRA: Gazit just said on the radio that when he compared the knitted kippa to the swastika that he was applauded.
C: I believe it. That it could happen.
IMRA: why do you think that this is the situation?
C: I'll tell you. I think that we have reached such a level of opposition because the more that there is coercion people start to exaggerate in their opposition. They cross the red lines. And he really crossed the red lines. This is something which simply cannot be done. There are some who understood from what he did that in principle there should not be politics in the army. There can be someone from Peace Now and someone from Gush Emunim (the Bloc of the Faithful), and someone from here and there and that is OK. But not as a unit.
IMRA: The emotions which are behind the reaction - do you think that it is because of the coercion issue or politics? We are talking about knitted kippot - these aren't the people who throw stones on the Sabbath, its more political matters.
C: It is an emotion of fear. It is fear. The fear that they will be the best in the army. It is fear.

They are reaching the upper ranks. Listen, I was at a wedding yesterday and I saw a senior officer from the paratroopers who was attending the wedding of someone in his unit - and this senior officer in the paratroopers wore a knitted kippa.

They are becoming the senior commanders in the combat units.

IMRA: So what?
C: It is frightening. Anyone who has a democratic soul is frightened by this.
IMRA: Because.
C: Because they could easily become the central people in the army. Tomorrow or the day after tomorrow - it won't be long from now - God forbid - one of them will be the Chief of Staff. And if the Chief of Staff will be from a specific political group it will be very problematic. It is a problem.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director
IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)


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