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Naftali Bennett: Who’s the Burden, Again?

Bennett reveals settlers’ contributions to the state, and asks, are these people "a burden?"
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 6/30/2013, 11:53 AM

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Economics Minister Naftali Bennett rejected via a post on his Facebook page Sunday morning the recent claims by leftists that residents of Judea and Samaria (Yehuda and Shomron) are a "burden" on Israeli society.

Bennett published data showing that Israelis living in Judea and Samaria make a disproportionate contribution to the IDF, with 20 percent of those who graduated recent officers’ courses having been residents of Judea or Samaria. In addition, he revealed that 88.5% of soldiers from Samaria serve in combat units.

“The settlers are a burden on the country, huh?” he wrote.

Bennett’s post quickly received over 3,000 “Likes."  

Last week, Dr. Reuven Gal, the former Chief Psychologist of the IDF, spoke with Arutz Sheva about the dramatic increase in the enlistment of religious-Zionist young adults to the IDF.

“If 20 years ago the percent of kippah-wearing men who finished combat training at Bahad 1 was four percent, today it’s 40 percent,” he said. “There are senior military commanders, regiment commanders, brigade commanders, all religious Zionists.

“Their presence is much larger, relatively speaking, than their size compared to the overall population – a phenomenon which, by the way, is seen in other areas as well,” he added.

Dr. Gal expressed concern over the phenomenon. “As long as there is equal representation for commanders from the entire population, and representation for all views, that’s good," he said. "But what happens when there are only religious commanders, with one dominant world view? That’s already more problematic.

“I would say the same if it were happening on the other side, if leftists were taking over the positions of power in the military,” he added.