Peres Mandelblit 311.
(photo credit: Mark Neiman)
President Shimon Peres met with Military Advocate-General Maj.-Gen. Avichai Mandelblit on Sunday to assure him of his support for the IDF’s legal system and its military judges. Mandelblit and some judges have been subjected to attempts to delegitimize them after rulings related to Operation Cast Lead.
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The president told Mandelblit he was “shocked to the depths of his soul” that anyone would smear graffiti labeling Mandelblit a traitor on the walls of his home, as happened last week. Peres said that it was incumbent on everyone to oppose this form of expression, and that it boggles the mind to think that anyone would do something so shameful as to accuse an army man of being a traitor.
“We are dealing with the most central aspect of our lives – the IDF, an army that triumphed not only because of its ammunition but because of its purity of arms and its moral values, which we must continue to defend,” Peres said.
Mandelblit, 47, said that in recent years he has had to work very hard to defend the IDF and its combat soldiers, “because the world is constantly against us, and this is a moral army with strong values.”
Every complaint against the IDF is thoroughly investigated, said Mandelblit, and out of 400 complaints lodged against soldiers regarding Operation Cast Lead, only three were found to have validity, and the soldiers were duly charged.
On a personal level, Peres told Mandelblit: “I know that you have a very responsible attitude to your work, and that you do what you do with a clear conscience and with sensitivity. In the overwhelming majority of cases, you did not glean anything out of the ordinary and opted not to file charges; but in three cases you found misconduct that was contrary to the norms of the IDF, and you acted accordingly.”
It was important for him to tell Mandelblit these things face to face,
given the harassment that he has endured, said Peres, who assured
Mandelblit of his respect and admiration for him and his appreciation of
Mandelblit’s determination to ensure that the IDF remains one of the
most moral armies in the world. “The rule of law is part of the IDF’s
power and we have to be protective of it,” Peres said.