Shaked hits Deputy CoS over Holocaust Day comments

Justice Minister criticizes Deputy CoS, as leftwing MKs rally to his defense.

Uzi Baruch ,

Ayelet Shaked
Ayelet Shaked
Flash 90

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) slammed comments by Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Golan in which he appeared to draw comparisons between Israel and pre-war Europe.

“The Deputy Chief of Staff is confused in my opinion. His comments mainly suggest a lack of understanding, not to mention a contempt for the [legacy] of the Holocaust. There is absolutely nothing in the world that needs to be compared to this [the Holocaust],” Shaked told Army Radio on Thursday. Shaked is currently in Poland, where she is set to participate in the annual “March of the Living” to commemorate those killed in the Nazi death camps.

During a speech in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, on Wednesday Golan suggested parallels between pre-Holocaust Europe and modern-day Israel.

“If there is something that scares me about the memory of the Holocaust, it is the identification of horrifying processes that occurred in Europe in general and Germany in particular - 70, 80 and 90 years ago - and finding evidence of them here among us, today, in 2016,” he said.

Jewish Home MKs Naftali Bennett and Bezalel Smotrich lambasted Golan for his Wednesday night address, decrying the apparent comparison of Israel with Nazi Germany.

But some center-left MKs defended Golan, suggesting that while his phrasing was imperfect, his message was valid.

“Let’s not get confused, Yair Golan is a great officer – very professional and high caliber. Unfortunately in recent years we’ve tried to spin what army officers [say], in what are usually failed attempt to score some political points.”

Zionist Union chief Isaac Herzog also offered support for Golan, ridiculing his detractors for shouting “obscenities”.

“The Deputy Chief of Staff is a brave commander. Those disturbed people who are about to start screaming at him need to know: That’s how ethics and responsibility sound. We will not be afraid of shouting and of obscenities and will continue to back the IDF and its commanders. Always.”

On Thursday Golan himself appeared to backtrack, clarifying that he did not mean to draw comparisons to Nazi Germany.

“The comparison is absurd and totally baseless,” he said, “and it was never my intention to make such a comparison or to make criticisms of the political leadership. The IDF is a moral army that maintains a purity of arms and respects human dignity.”