The head of extreme leftist group Peace Now, Yariv Oppenheimer, asked Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon Sunday to forbid IDF soldiers to eat at the home of nationalist activist Baruch Marzel in Hevron.
"Recently,” wrote Oppenheimer in the letter to Yaalon, “the Facebook pages of several soldiers in mandatory duty and the reserves have featured photographs of celebratory dinners with the participation of extreme right wing activist Baruch Marzel.”
"On Marzel's official page, too, the pictures of these soldiers can be seen, with their faces visible, sitting around the table.”
The IDF has its own dining rooms, he added, and there is no reason to send soldiers to civilian dining rooms, or allow them to eat there, “especially when the hosts have a clear and controversial world view.”
In Marzel's case, Oppenheimer added, the matter is even more serious. “The encounters with a person who is indetified with the Kach movement, a student of Rabbi Kahane, a man who sees Baruch Goldstein as a Jewish hero – all of these do not jibe with the IDF's values and the moral foundations upon which it rests.
"In view of this, I am urgently asking you to instruct commanders and soldiers on the ground to stop sending soldiers in active service to these meals, and to put an end to the custom, which has already turned into a norm. The custom according to which political bodies take advantage of soldiers' mandatory or reserve service in the Judea and Samaria area in order to advance controversial political agendas, is improper and contradicts military rules.”
"The IDF must maintain a structure of activity that is as separate as possible from political agendas – doubly so when the meetings and activity are carried out with Kach people,” Oppenheimer opined.
Marzel: I'd sue him, but...
Marzel wrote in response on Facebook that he would sue “foreign agent and European Union collaborator” Oppenheimer over his “lies,” except that they are not libelous. “How can I claim that the lie that IDF soldiers dine at my home on Sabbath eve is libelous? It is praise! Saying that I am a Kach activist is libel? It is praise? The fact that I have such a nice living room is libel?
Marzel said that he simply gave drink and food “to the righteous IDF soldiers” at the end of the Yom Kippur fast. He added: “And I will give it to them next year as well! And let the haters of Israel eat their hearts out!”
Peace Now was recently castigated by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for what he said was an intentional attempt to sabotage his meeting eleven days ago with US President Barack Obama.
The organization leaked to the press that a plan for construction in Jerusalem had been approved, just as he met Obama – causing the US to respond with a statement of denouncement.
"This is irresponsibility on the international level, for some element to publish a statutory plan in order to sabotage a very important meeting that dealt with the Iraniannuclear program, our basic security questions and Islamic State (ISIS),” Netanyahu told Channel 2 in an interview that was aired after Yom Kippur.