IDF soldiers carry a comrade on a stretcher, who was wounded during an operation in Gaza, outside northern Gaza July 20, 2014..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
More than 75 disabled IDF veterans signed a petition calling to prevent left-wing NGO Breaking the Silence from entering the school system.
The soldiers, who were wounded in the course of their military service, signed a petition initiated by right-wing group Im Tirtzu.
“The purity of arms is a cornerstone among IDF and combat soldiers. Over the years, thousands of soldiers have been wounded and lost their lives in order to protect this value in battle.
The military cemeteries tell their stories,” the petition stated.
“We do not understand how a propaganda organization that defames IDF soldiers in Israel and the world and paints them as perpetrators of crimes against humanity, by distorting facts and presenting lies and blood libels, can be permitted to enter our schools, to the next generation of our society. We see this as a personal insult and unequivocally condemn it,” they wrote. “Israeli society needs to clearly speak out and say: Not in our schools.”
St.-Sgt. Maj. (res.) Liran Baruch, a paratrooper who was wounded in action during an operation in Kalandiya, said he lost his eye due to the IDF’s strict maintenance of purity of arms.
“I lost my left eye because of our desire not to harm innocents,” he said. “I recommend that the people of Breaking the Silence learn a little about the facts as they really exist in the field and not spread false propaganda against the army.”
“These meetings spit in the faces of wounded and killed IDF soldiers. We will continue fighting to the end, to see that these ludicrous meetings stop,” he added.
Another soldier, St.-Sgt. Maj. (res.) Ido Gal Razon, who served in the Golani Brigade and was wounded in Gaza, said: “The Israel Defense Forces is a humanitarian army that shows concern for citizens who are not involved in combat.
“The IDF invests great efforts in innovative technology to protect innocents, while soldiers risk their lives in combat zones,” he said. “We, IDF soldiers, were not trained to kill, rather to protect, and are uniting to remove the inciters and liars from the education system and from the walls of our schools.”
On Wednesday, the Knesset approved in first reading a bill, initiated by Education Minister Naftali Bennett, that would ban Breaking the Silence and other organizations that act to undermine the IDF from schools.
“Passing this bill into law will enable Israeli democracy to defend itself against those seeking to harm it from within,” Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg said.
“A politically charged propaganda organization like Breaking the Silence has no business in our schools. Lies have no educational value, especially when they are funded by foreign governments,” he said.