Facing a backlash from right-wing politicians and social media users
for comments made during ceremonies marking Holocaust Remembrance Day
, the army's deputy chief of staff sought to clarify on Thursday that he had no intention of comparing Israel or the IDF with Nazi Germany
The brouhaha was ignited on Wednesday evening by Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan, who said during a speech at Kibbutz Tel Yitzhak that he had noticed "horrific trends" in present-day Israel that were reminiscent of what took place in the period just before the ascent of the Third Reich.
"I had no intention of comparing the IDF and the State of Israel with things that went on during the Nazi period," the officer is quoted as saying by Army Radio. "The comparison is absurd and lacks any foundation, and there was no intent to draw such a parallel or to criticize the civilian leadership."