Barak: 'Iron fist' for insubordination

Barak Iron fist for i

Barak McCool 248 88 aj (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Barak McCool 248 88 aj
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Defense Minister Ehud Barak held a closed-door meeting in his office Saturday evening following several instances last week in which soldiers from the Kfir Brigade hung signs stating they wouldn't evacuate settlements. Barak is slated to hold meetings with intelligence and enforcement military officials in order to "decide on how to deal with inciting parties which promote soldier insubordination." "The state must use an iron fist to quell insubordination from both the right- and the left-wing," his office said in a statement following the meeting. On Thursday, an act of insubordination was thwarted at the last minute in the Kfir Brigade's training base when commanders discovered a sign reading "Kfir does not expel Jews" drying in the sun, moments before soldiers planned to hang it from a nearby building. The sign was the third prepared by soldiers from the Kfir Brigade. On Monday, four soldiers hung a banner reading "Nahshon also does not expel Jews" from the roof of a building at their base to protest the razing of two illegal structures near the Negohot settlement. Two of the soldiers were sentenced to 20 and 14 days in the brig, respectively, while two others were sentenced to four-week confinement. Last month, two soldiers from the Shimshon Battalion pulled out a banner reading "Shimshon does not evacuate Homesh" - a reference to the northern Samaria settlement evacuated during the 2005 disengagement - during their swearing-in ceremony at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The sign was discovered as a group of pre-military academy students were visiting the Kfir Brigade training base, located near Bekaot in the Jordan Valley. The IDF said it was investigating the incident and would likely discipline the soldiers involved. On Friday, IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Avi Benayahu blasted the recent protests by Kfir Brigade soldiers against evacuating settlements, and the role of rabbis in influencing their actions. "It says (in Ethics of the Fathers), 'Wise people, be careful with your words,' and I add 'rabbis' many times over," he told Kol Hai Radio. "It isn't an army according to your (the rabbis') requests, and every soldier should precisely obey his commanders and not his rabbis. You don't have to follow every rabbi who says inciting things like sheep after his shepherd." Yaakov Katz contributed to this report