Sunday, February 21, 2016

Bennett defends Eisenkot following criticism from Right

Lahav Harkov,

Eisenkot image from

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot merely repeated the rules of engagement in saying that soldiers shouldn’t shoot teenagers attacking them with scissors, Education Minister Naftali Bennett said on Saturday, taking an opposite tack from several other politicians on the Right.
“I support [Eisenkot’s] statement that soldiers need to strike those who endanger lives and not those who don’t endanger lives,” Bennett told Channel 2’s Meet the Press program.
According to Bennett, Eisenkot’s critic’s [sic] misunderstood him: “He was repeating the rules of engagement; you open fire if someone is putting your life or that of the people around you in danger.”
Bennett also called IDF soldiers “the most moral fighters in the world” and commended Israeli civilians who have helped subdue terrorists.
Last week, Eisenkot spoke to a group of soon-to-be conscripts at a high school in Bat Yam, and told them: “The IDF doesn’t need to get swept up in clich├ęd statements like ‘Kill or be killed’ or ‘Whoever comes at you with scissors needs to be killed.’ The tools at the soldiers’ disposal are sufficient. I don’t want to see a soldier empty a magazine [to shoot] a young girl with scissors.”
Soon afterward, several politicians from the Likud and from Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi party came out against Eisenkot’s statement.
In the Likud, Transportation Minister Israel Katz said he hoped the general’s statement wouldn’t result in hesitancy in responding to terrorism, and Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said Eisenkot harmed Israel’s public diplomacy by reinforcing false impressions that Israel responds to terrorist attacks with excessive force. 
In Bayit Yehudi, MKs Moti Yogev and Bezalel Smotrich quoted Jewish sages who said, “If one approaches to kill you, rise up and kill him.” They both said the phrase is not just a slogan, but a moral imperative in Judaism. ... 

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