Rivlin to ‘Haaretz’ parley in NY: We must stand with IDF soldiers

“The IDF is doing everything in its power to keep the highest moral standard possible, even under impossible conditions,” says Rivlin.

President Reuven Rivlin (photo credit: REUTERS)
President Reuven Rivlin
(photo credit: REUTERS)
NEW YORK – “Our soldiers defend our country and we will do everything to defend them and to stand shoulder to shoulder along with them,” President Reuven Rivlin said on Sunday morning at a conference organized by Haaretz in New York City.
The comments were made in light of a controversy surrounding the conference, which hosted a session with Breaking the Silence, a group that exposes what it sees as unethical behavior by IDF soldiers.
“From time to time the obvious should be said and especially these days as we are facing difficult and dangerous fights against terrorism,” Rivlin said.
“The IDF is doing everything in its power to keep the highest moral standard possible, even under impossible conditions.”
“Any other army in the world is not as moral as Tzahal [the IDF],” he continued. “We are very proud of them and really owe them all our support and appreciation.”
Rivlin spoke about his visits to families of people killed or wounded in stabbing attacks in the past few weeks and said that “the State of Israel has the duty to defend its people.”
“This is what the IDF and all our security services are doing and they are trying to do their best,” he said.
A group of Knesset members led by Kulanu MK Meirav Ben- Ari sent a letter to the president before the event, asking him not to attend.
“By not participating in this conference, you will send a clear message against the delegitimization campaign being run by Breaking the Silence and similar organizations against the IDF and the State of Israel,” the lawmakers wrote.
They added that Avner Gvaryahu, the NGO’s former director of outreach, who was on the conference’s list of speakers, had previously accused IDF soldiers of randomly shooting civilians and invading Palestinian homes to watch sports on television.
“These are lies and libels against the army, which are spread by organizations such as Breaking the Silence,” the legislators stressed.
Dozens of IDF reserve officers protested outside the President’s Residence in Jerusalem earlier on Sunday, in an effort to get him to withdraw his participation in the conference.