'The social atmosphere in Israel is combustible'

Reserve IDF General Gershon Hacohen walks back some of his remarks in support of General Buchris, who has been indicted for sex crimes.

Eliran Aharon ,

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צילום: אלירן אהרון

IDF reserves General Gershon Hacohen, who had previously compared IDF General Ofek Buchris to King David, apologized to those who were hurt by his words, and clarified his words which caused a public storm.

General Buchris was indicted for sex crimes on Thursday.

"I was insensitive to the potential for misunderstanding. We're all in a mine field, the atmosphere is like gasoline fumes in the air; every spark leads to an explosion," said the General after the attacks leveled against him.

Hacohen explains the gap between what he meant and what people understood from his words with an anecdote. "A man comes out of the Rabbis house on Friday night trembling. After people ask him what happened, He says that as the Rabbi stood to say the blessing on the wine he turned to me and asked, 'should I exempt you from obligation or do you want to exempt yourself?' So I got up and left.

"The problem is that when you try to explain that joke to people you have to make sure they understand the Halakhic concept of 'exempting' someone from the prayer, who does it and how it's done," says Hacohen, in an attempt to explain the gaps in understanding that led to a distortion of his words.

"I was trying to say that Buchris is a hero, unrelated to the court ruling. I meant to say that we're talking about a man whom thousands have followed in admiration. Does that mean he's allowed to do bad things? Of course not!"