Stern with Yair Lapid (file)
Stern with Yair Lapid (file) Flash 90

Iconic nationalist activist Baruch Marzel is nonplussed by the decision of MK Rabbi Shai Piron to resign from the Knesset, and his replacement by religious Zionist Elazar Stern in the ranks of the secularist Yesh Atid faction.

"We've exchanged a bull for a donkey,” wrote Marzel in his typical no-nonsense style. “Elazar Stern, who replaces Shai Piron, is one the dangerous enemies of religion, ever since his positions in the military. He is the only thing that can cause us to miss Piron.”

Stern, 59, is a major-general in the IDF reserves. A former IDF Chief Education Officer, Stern supported the 2005 Disengagement from Gaza, and is also remembered for a 2007 decision barring soldiers in Hesder yeshivot from serving in Golani and Paratroopers units, which was seen as an attempt by Stern to disband the yeshivas.

The ban was quietly lifted when Stern stepped down as Head of IDF Human Resources Directorate in 2008.