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Barak Warns Recruits of Iron Fist on Refusals, Cites Talmud

Barak visits fresh Kfir recruits, warns that an 'iron fist' will be used against refusal of orders, and cites the Talmud.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 11/25/2009, 12:46 PM / Last Update: 11/25/2009, 12:51 PM

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Defense Minister Ehud Barak visited the IDF's induction base (Bakum) Tuesday where new recruits slated to become Kfir regiment combat soldiers joined the IDF. He warned them of the consequences of refusing orders, and he made specific reference to the soldiers donning kippas, the traditional Jewish head covering.

Barak's words of warning came against a backdrop of a growing controversy over the use of the IDF forces in razing “illegal” Jewish communities and expelling their residents. The Kfir regiment has been shaken by several such protests recently.

“Kfir is an operational regiment that carries out the main operative assignments in Judea and Samaria every day and night,” he said, “and is prepared, in cases of a wider conflagration, to take part in any mission. You will receive the best equipment that is currently available in the world for combat soldiers.

"You are being enlisted in a difficult period,” he conceded. “ Some of our activity in Yesha is in the focus of controversy,” he said. “We are the army of a democratic nation that has only one army. The army is subject to the leadership of the elected government, and the army carries out the missions that the state entrusts it to carry out.

“We have seen several phenomena of refusal of orders, from one side [of the political map] and, in the past, from a second direction. These things have no room in a democratic country. We intend to use an iron fist to limit this phenomenon. We all serve the nation; we are all brothers. I see among you kippah-wearers, I tell you, remember what is written throughout the Talmud: 'anything but civil war.'”