At the ceremony ending a brigade commander's course held Thursday in the "City of Training Bases" in the Negev, soldiers began to sing the traditional song "Ani Maamin," (I believe) after the national anthem Hatikva, Channel 10 News reported Monday evening.
Yael Zechariah, who was watching the ceremony, told Channel 10 that the spontaneous burst of song was "very surprising and certainly not part of the ceremony, and it seemed that the commander of the ceremony also got confused for a moment because he did nothing to stop the singing."
MK Bezalel Smotrich responded incredulously to the report. "What, have you lost your mind? They sing 'Ani Maamin' in a Jewish state, and for this the IDF apologizes? A handful of idiots from the extremist faction of the secular public begin to shout and the IDF hastens to apologize ... meshuganas, get off it, ... We will continue to sing that song until the Messiah comes ... "
An IDF spokesman stated, "This is an exceptional incident, which will be followed by a tightening of procedures at the base and in the various units to which the soldiers are assigned."
The words of the song were written by the 12th century Jewish scholar and philosopher Moses Maimonides, and translate to: I believe with complete faith in the coming of the Messiah. It was sung by Jews as they entered the Nazi death camps and gas chambers.