Lavi organization Director-General Yosef Ben-Baruch sent a letter to the IDF Chief Education Officer today, stating he gathered testimonies on a series of incidents where soldiers were required to disarm before touring the Arab city of Rawabi in Shomron.
This is a continuation of a case about a month ago when Ben Baruch asked Brigadier General Pirizan to investigate the testimony of Elad Huminer, according to which soldiers and officers from the Shimshon Battalion were required to disarm before taking a tour of the PA city Rawabi as part of IDF educational activity.
"In the time that elapsed since the aforementioned appeal, we received additional information that soldiers and officers from other units are undergoing such educational tours in the city of Rawabi and other places," noted Ben Baruch.
According to the report, "today we received information that officers and soldiers from the Israel Air Force squadron at Hazor base were required to disarm as part of a study tour in the city of Rawabi, and that the officers and soldiers were asked to disguise or to shed any Jewish and Israeli symbols, and refrain from speaking Hebrew during the tour.
"We thought the periods when Jews were required to disguise Jewish symbols had passed, from the world in general and from Israel in particular, and especially among officers and soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces. It is unnecessary to tell you about the negative educational effects of such behavior on the trainees, both regarding their trust in the strength of the IDF and in their belief in the justice of the State of Israel," Ben Baruch wrote.
"The sequence of complaints raises the concern that this is the policy of senior officials in the Education Corps, and not the local initiative of the educational elements in the various units," Lavi's Director wrote and asked the Chief Education Officer to "act in accordance with your authority and order the examination of the conduct described, to determine whether it took place as described, and who is responsible, and to take the necessary sanctions against those who violate the Chief of Staff's orders and conclusions regarding education of IDF soldiers and officers on political issues."
Scenes from oppressed Rawabi in Shomron: