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      'Settlers' Make Up 16% of New IDF Officers

      Their proportion among new company and battalion commanders is 4 times their part in the general population.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 1/30/2014, 11:00 AM

      Efrat soldiers graduate officers' course
      Efrat soldiers graduate officers' course
      IDF Spokesperson's Unit

      Residents of Judea and Samaria make up more than 16 percent of the new officers fresh out of the latest courses for company and battalion commanders, according to the IDF's Bamahane magazine.

      This proportion is four times the part that the “settlers” make up in the general population.

      "Residents of Judea and Samaria understand the complexity of the situation we live in, and the fact that we are still in a form of war,” one of the recent graduates – a resident of Samaria – told the magazine.

      "When rocks are thrown just two minutes away from your home, and soldiers are standing guard throughout our community, we have no option but to give of ourselves and contribute to security,” he added.

      Many of the Jews of Judea and Samaria are religious – so a high proportion of “settlers” also means a high proportion of kippah-wearers.

      An article published recently by Amir Oren, military analyst for ultraleftist Haaretz, complained about the high number of religious people in the security forces, causing a public outcry.

      "The situation is worst in the Shin Bet,” he wrote, “which has turned into the Kippah Wearers' Service in recent years. The people holding three of the four most senior positions come from a religious background and project support for a world view that opposes a diplomatic solution that involves ceding settlements.”

      Minister Uri Orbach of the religious-Zionist Jewish Home told Galei Yisrael Radio in response that the Haaretz article “reeks of religio-phobia.”

      "I used to get mad at that kind of stuff,” he said, “but now I mostly snort in deprecation when I see veteran journalists at the end of their road still trying to wage the battle of 20 or 30 years ago, and prevent talented religious people from reaching key positions and junctions where decisions are made.”