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Wednesday, July 03, 2019 

Former IDF general Yair Golan's disturbing statements

Ruthie Blum points to a most horrific moment in the conduct of Ehud Barak's colleague for his still unnamed Knesset party, where Golan made the following statements:
During a speech on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day three years ago, for instance, Golan, while still in uniform, said: “If there’s something that frightens me … it’s the recognition of the revolting processes that occurred in Europe in general, and particularly in Germany, back then – 70, 80 and 90 years ago – and finding signs of them here among us today in 2016.”

Golan was not referring to the actual signs of pre-Nazi Germany rearing their ugly heads in Europe, however. Rather, he was raising them in relation to the Jewish state.

The Holocaust, he declared, “must make us think deeply about the responsibility of leadership, the quality of society, and it must lead us to fundamental thinking about how we, here and now, treat the stranger, the orphan and the widow, and all who are like them. There is nothing easier than hating the stranger, nothing easier than to stir fears and intimidate. There is nothing easier than to behave like an animal and to act sanctimoniously. On Holocaust Remembrance Day we ought to discuss our ability to uproot the seeds of intolerance, violence, self-destruction and moral deterioration.”

He then went on to assert that “it’s essential” for Holocaust Remembrance Day to be a national day of atonement, the way Yom Kippur is a religious one. This breast-beating, he explained, “ought to include unsettling issues,” such as the abuse of weapons by soldiers.

“We believe very much in the justice of our path,” he said. “But not everything we do is just.”

In a radio interview on Sunday with Israel Radio, Golan was given a chance to retract his Holocaust comparison. Instead, he doubled down.

“So, [you meant to say that we Israelis] are not equivalent to Nazi society, but only that there is evidence of Nazism in our society?” asked co-host Kalman Liebskind.

“Correct,” Golan replied. “Exactly.”

Meanwhile, Israel’s Channel 12 News obtained a 10-year-old recording of Golan telling students at the Magen Shaul premilitary academy in Nokdim, “It is the job of those in uniform to risk their lives so that those not in uniform can live in peace and quiet.”

Had he been referring to IDF soldiers protecting Israeli civilians, this would have been appropriate. But what he said next indicated otherwise.

“Faced with a civilian [Palestinian] population, we justifiably take risks upon ourselves. It is inconceivable for us, in the name of risk avoidance, to decide to mow down an apartment building [where] women and children [could] get killed … if [an army unit] has to take down terrorists, it must do so in the safest way possible.”

A student then asked him, “If it is a choice between [endangering Palestinian] civilians or your own soldiers, which would you prefer?”

Golan answered, “Civilians. … You don’t kill a 60-year-old woman, even if she’s an Arab.”

Fuming at the mere suggestion that any IDF soldier would kill someone simply for being an Arab, the audience began to grill Golan on what he proposes a soldier do when a 60-year-old woman poses a threat.

“Not every combat situation immediately turns us into right-wingers,” he snapped. “Not every Arab woman is hiding behind a terrorist. I expect commanders to assess situations and take reasonable measures.”

Golan grew more and more impatient with the members of the audience for defending soldiers in a dilemma.

“I know what I’m talking about,” Golan retorted angrily, pointing to a past incident in which an IDF officer’s negligence led to the erroneous death of a Palestinian. “What do you want? For us to justify that? Is that the nation in which you wish to live? One that kills unnecessarily?”

He also appeared to contradict his point by railing, “Our men don’t make mistakes? None of you ever made mistakes? Are you exempt from mistakes? If so, this is a saintly community. But you are not saints, and none of us is.”

He concluded by admonishing, “If we want to make any kind of moral complaint to the nations of the world about the Palestinians, we had better be very strict about our own morality first.”
It's clear he didn't know a thing he was talking about. And that he's no more suited for political office than Barak is at his advanced age. Truly awful.

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