US, Germany Threaten IDF Not to Move Academies to Mt. Scopus
The United States and Germany have issued an ultimatum to the IDF, a report Thursday said: No American or German army officers will work with IDF training academies if the army goes ahead with plans to relocate them to Mount Scopus in Jerusalem.
The ultimatum could explain why Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced earlier this week that the plan to move them was to be delayed. Sources said that the IDF has begun looking for other sites for its military program as a result.
Maariv, quoting IDF officials, said that they and the government had received messages from U.S. and German government officials that they would quash cooperation between their armies and the IDF. The ultimatum would have a major effect on the IDF, which hosts officers from both countries on a regular basis in a wide variety of educational and operational programs and events.
The IDF also runs courses for soldiers from a number of foreign armies at its three academic institutions. It is estimated that some 15% of the students at the academies who attend programs each year are from outside Israel. IDF officials said that if the U.S. and Germany, among the most prominent and frequent visitors to the academies pull out, other governments will follow suit.
It should be noted that Mt. Scopus is under complete Israeli sovereignty, and has been since the state was declared in 1948. Mt. Scopus was assigned to the Jewish state as part of the 1947 UN Partition Plan, but was occupied by Jordan until the 1967 Six Day War, when it was liberated by Israel.
Maariv quoted a senior German official as saying that “our stance on structures over the Green Line is well-known.” U.S. officials declined to comment, the paper said. In a statement, the IDF said that “the decision to move the academies to Mt. Scopus will be made based on instructions from the government.”