The values of the Israel Defense Forces have become confused, with one example being its acceptance of gays, the head of a leading pre-military academy said this week. He repeatedly referred to gays as "perverts."
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Yig'al Levinstein, one of the founders of the Bnei David Academy in the settlement of Eli, was addressing a conference in Jerusalem on Wednesday on the influence of Reform Judaism on the Jews of Israel.
Levinstein was formerly a member of a committee that advised the IDF on issues regarding Jewish identity, but he resigned from the committee. A video of his speech was made available on the Kipah website.
Referring to the gay community, he said: "It is an insane movement whose members have lost the normalcy of life. This group makes the country mad and has now penetrated the IDF in full force – and no one dares voice an opinion and mock it."
The "peak" of this new trend in the IDF, led by the Education Corps, Levinstein said, was when trainee pilot volunteers were taken to paint the gay movement's club in Tel Aviv a few months ago.
"When one of our students clarified where they were going, he was told that they were going to volunteer at the club of the perverts in Tel Aviv," Levinstein said. "The guy didn't blink or get confused. He simply said, 'I'm not going. What’s that got to do with pilot training? It's against my conscience and my values.'"
"He and his commander came to a compromise whereby he wouldn't paint the club but he had to stay and listen to their world view, their positions on things – those people."
Levinstein also said that army visits to Poland these days, led by Chief Education Officer Brig. Avner Paz Tsuk, as a "slippery slope." "These days, when we go to Auschwitz, we are educated how not to become Nazis in the occupied territories," he lamented.
The army, he added, has changed its attitude to religious soldiers. "To my mind, the era of innocence is over. Once we were the darlings of the army and today we are a danger. They would prefer to do without dozens of extremely religious soldiers, just to ensure that they have normal soldiers."
"We've got to stop thinking that everyone is hugging, loving, kissing. That was true until yesterday, but today they are suspicious, both of our motivation and primarily of our great nationalist spirit and the connection between that and religion. They see it as something very dangerous."
The IDF Spokesman said: "From its establishment, the IDF has operated as a national body in which officers and soldiers from the entire spectrum of the population serve. Promotion is awarded according to quality and professionalism in the different areas, with no regard for religion or population group.
"The Witnesses in Uniform program is one of the specialized educational programs for officers. It has two central and inter-linked goals: Holocaust remembrance and strengthening the moral competence of commanders."