The Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi, on Friday morning visited the al-Qasum Regional Council, the Al Atrash tribe, and the tomb of Sheikh Amin Trif in the village of Julis in honor of Eid Al Adha.
As part of the visit, Kohavi, Head of the Manpower Division Maj. Gen. Moti Almoz, and other commanders met with the leaders of the Bedouin community. A meeting with the heads and senior members of the Druze community was also held, led by the spiritual leader, Sheikh Mawafek Tarif, The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Gen. Kamil Abu-Rukon and the Commanding Officer of the Northern Command, Maj. Gen. Amir Baram attended the visit as well. Officers from the Druze and Bedouin communities attended the meetings and a discussion on how to improve integrating minority populations into the IDF was held.
Kohavi said, "The Druze and Bedouin communities take a tremendous part in keeping the security of the State of Israel, one cannot say less. In well known and visible places and in Extremely secret and courageous places. First of all, regarding racism- it is a word I cannot bare to hear. We will not enable any form of expression of racism or unequal treatment to any of the IDF populations and if we see, if I will see, that there is an expression of inequality I will not only condemn it, I will punish very severely. The good news is that the IDF is an island of excellence in many means and issue in particular. When people wear these green uniforms, everyone becomes the same, and so I say this to you, honorable, I say it to everyone, I invite you to do everything possible to increase the number of your sons serving in the IDF.”
“We want and need your sons in military service to help us protect the State of Israel. Today, more than 45 percent of the IDF is already based in the Negev, this is good to know. When the tenor is completed, the so-called ‘IDF to the South,’ 60 percent of the IDF will be based in the Negev. This tendency is welcome and we see in it great opportunity. We see it as a tenor that you not only can, but must take part in, as soldiers, in your job, in all positions and types.”
“Look me in the eye, I am telling you in the clearest and most direct way, the IDF wants and sees this as an opportunity to relocate the Intelligence Division to the Negev. We have no question in this regard. There is an issue that needs to be resolved and it is the issue of transportation for those serving not only in Tel Aviv, but in other places such as Hadera and Haifa and we don't want to lose them. Just like we don't want to lose you," concluded Kohavi.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)