Israeli defense minister says army not pushing ‘feminist agenda’ with mixed-gender units

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman speaking to the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, March 6, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman speaking to the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, March 6, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman rejected accusations that the Israel Defense Forces is pushing a “feminist agenda” with its mixed-gender units.

Liberman made the comments Wednesday at the inauguration of a new army training base in the Negev for mixed-gender border defence units. [Read more…]

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Israeli security experts defend H R McMaster against allegations of anti-Israel bias

(JTA) – A former leader of Israel’s National Security Council defended U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster against claims that the American general is hostile to Israel.

Yaakov Amidror, a reserves major-general of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), offered his backing for McMaster in a Jerusalem Post op-ed published Sunday that he co-authored with Eran Lerman, a former member of the Israeli council and an intelligence specialist. [Read more…]

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Elor Azaria enters military prison

Elor Azaria at a military court hearing in Jaffa, Aug. 30, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Elor Azaria at a military court hearing in Jaffa, Aug. 30, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

(JTA) – The Israeli soldier convicted of shooting a downed Palestinian terrorist entered military prison to begin serving his 18-month sentence.

Elor Azaria arrived at a military base in the center of the county on Wednesday, a day after the Military Court of Appeals denied his request to delay the beginning of his sentence until IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot decides whether or not to commute his sentence. The appeals court upheld his conviction and sentence last week. [Read more…]

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Israeli soldier asks army chief for leniency after losing appeal in shooting of downed Palestinian

Sgt. Elor Azaria sitting with his parents in a courtroom at a Tel Aviv military base, July 30, 3017, awaiting the verdict of his appeal in the 2016 shooting death of a downed Palestinian attacker in Hebron. (Flash 90/Avshalom Sasoni/Pool)

Sgt. Elor Azaria sitting with his parents in a courtroom at a Tel Aviv military base, July 30, 3017, awaiting the verdict of his appeal in the 2016 shooting death of a downed Palestinian attacker in Hebron. (Flash 90/Avshalom Sasoni/Pool)

(JTA) – The Israeli soldier convicted of shooting a downed Palestinian terrorist has asked the head of the Israel Defense Forces for leniency.

Elor Azaria made the request of Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot days after a military appeals court upheld both the conviction and the 18-month prison sentence, which the prosecution had called too lenient. Azaria reportedly will not appeal the decisions to Israel’s Supreme Court. [Read more…]

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Israeli operation assisting thousands of Syrians harmed by civil war

(JTA) – The Israeli military said an operation it started a year ago has treated thousands of Syrians and provided thousands of tons of aid to Syrians dealing with its nation’s civil war.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced its “Operation Good Neighbour” on Wednesday, saying it has a “moral imperative” to provide aid to the Syrians on the country’s northern border. [Read more…]

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Sephardi chief rabbi tells religious soldiers how to protest women singers; compares women who wear immodest clothing to animals

Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef attending a conference in the city of Beit Shemesh, Israel, Jan. 13, 2016. (Yaakov Lederman/Flash90)

Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef attending a conference in the city of Beit Shemesh, Israel, Jan. 13, 2016. (Yaakov Lederman/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Sephardi chief rabbi of Israel appeared to compare women who wear immodest clothing to animals in a public sermon.

Rabbi Yizhak Yosef also counselled religious soldiers on how to protest required attendance at Israel Defense Forces ceremonies that feature women singers in the Saturday night speech first reported Sunday by the Hebrew-language haredi Orthodox news website Kikar Shabbat. [Read more…]

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Pre-military yeshiva head says army service drives female soldiers ‘crazy’

(JTA) – The rabbinic head of a religious Zionist pre-military yeshiva in the West Bank is under fire for saying that the Israeli army drives female soldiers “crazy” and upsets their Jewishness.

Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, who runs the Bnei David academy in the Eli settlement, made the comments in remarks to several hundred students visiting from another West Bank pre-military academy. [Read more…]

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Senior Israeli army official convicted of sexual offences demoted

Israeli Brig.-Gen Ofek Buchris visiting the Tel Hashomer army base, Nov. 22, 2010. (Flash90)

Golani Brigade commander Ofek Buchris visiting the Tel Hashomer army base, Nov. 22, 2010. (Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – A senior Israeli military official accused of rape was convicted of sexual offences as part of a plea bargain and demoted.

Ofek Buchris, 47, was demoted to colonel from brigadier general as part of his sentence handed down Thursday by a military court. He also was given a suspended jail sentence of seven months. [Read more…]

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