First publication:
Clarification call for IDF lecturer who criticized Liberman

Chief Education Officer summons 'secular yeshiva' founder and IDF lecturer after he wrote of DM, 'man closest to fascist characteristics.'

Ido Ben Porat ,

Brigadier General Zvika Fairazen
Brigadier General Zvika Fairazen
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Secular yeshiva Bina founder Lior Tal, who lectures at IDF soldiers' seminars, was summoned to a meeting with Chief Education Officer Brigadier General Zvika Fairazen after he lashed out at Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.

In May 2016 Tal expressed anger at Liberman's appointment as Defense Minister and wrote "an extremist who doesn't accept the values ​​of the IDF spirit is the person closest to fascist characteristics ever to sit on the Defense Minister's chair."

As a result of this statement, complaints were filed with the Chief Education Officer, who decided to summon Tal for an inquiry. Brigadier General Fairazen presented Tal with the requirements of an IDF lecturer even when he is not on duty.

Tal lectures to officers of lieutenant colonel rank and above as part of the Education and Youth Corps. His lectures deal with "connections and cohesion in Israeli society."

Bina secular yeshiva
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In a conversation with Arutz Sheva, Tal rejected calls by rightist organizations to disqualify him from lecturing soldiers. "The IDF is a state body. Disqualifying a lecturer who, according to commanders opinions, does his job with honors and assists them in carrying out the task, can be done when the lecturer incites to reject the law or orders, or alternatively who deeply insults a broad public serving in the army."

He says the lecturer's political views are irrelevant. "The IDF is consistent in this matter, and dozens of rabbis and right-wing activists also lecture in its ranks. The claim that because I criticized the decision to appoint Liberman as Defense Minister therefore my army lectures should suffer stems from a deep lack of understanding of what democracy and military policy are, combined with political and religious persecution directed by the Lavi organization against anyone promoting Jewish pluralism and humanistic attitudes.

"This isn't the way to conduct a dispute. To my delight, I was summoned for an excellent conversation with the Education Officer in which we exchanged opinions on various matters, and it was made clear to me that I had not violated any procedure. Listen and understand the difference between words of the defiled and word of the pure," added Tal, who is currently the Vice President of Content and head of the Kolot Beit Midrash.

The Lavi organization for good governance that filed the complaint against Tal, said, "Lior Tal's lectures in the IDF should have been stopped long ago. It's impossible to accept a double standard, according to which left-wing professors are automatically protected from extreme statements and parties. On the other hand, against rabbis who express themselves sharply significant sanctions are taken."

The BINA Secular Yeshiva Network has been sponsored by the New Israel Fund.

Shai Glick of the B'Tzalmo organization said, "There can't be a double standard. If the IDF censors every person who expresses himself on political issues then it shouldn't allow Lior Tal to speak. Or, it should return Rabbi Levinstein and the other rabbis who were forbidden to speak in the IDF. It can't be that only rabbis from the right will be censored."

The IDF Spokesman responds: "A senior education and youth officer summoned Lior Tal to a clarification call following his statements; this is not a reprimand. During the conversation, the existing requirements of an IDF lecturer even when he is not on duty were presented and procedures were clarified.

"Lior Tal is a lecturer in the IDF in the framework of the Education and Youth Corps for officers at the rank of lieutenant colonel and above on the subject of connections and cohesion in Israeli society. Lior's participation in the course was approved as required by a lecturers' committee."