The controversial Orthodox commander of an Israeli army infantry brigade refused to allow a top female Israeli pop star to sing for his troops because he was afraid it would insult a minority of those soldiers who are Orthodox.
Above: Ofer Winter
Controversial Orthodox IDF Brigade Commander Bans Popular Female Pop Star From Performing For Troops
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The controversial Orthodox commander of an Israeli army infantry brigade refused to allow a top female Israeli pop star to sing for his troops because he was afraid it would insult a minority of those soldiers who are Orthodox, the Jerusalem Post reported based on an a Channel 10 News report.
Sarit Hadad offered to perform for free but Colonel Ofer Winter, Givati Brigade’s controversial commander, refused.
In a letter distributed to all his soldiers at the start of the Gaza war, Winter previously couched the battle against Hamas in biblical terms as a holy war, calling Hamas “the terrorist enemy that dares to curse, blaspheme and scorn the God of Israel” and urged all of his soldiers, including the majority of soldiers who are secular, to pray.
At the same time, Winter urged haredi tio pray for IDF soldiers because their prayer would protect them, and said the place for haredim is in yeshivas. Haredim have been dodging IDF service for decades, angering the vast majority of Israelis who risk their own lives and send their own child to the IDF to risk theirs while haredim do nothing.
And Winter – who is Zionist Orthodox – has also done other things that heavily favor religious belief while discriminating against secular soldiers.
The head of the Israel Be Free secularist movement, Mickey Gitzin, criticized Winter’s letter.
“IDF commanders should also remember that the IDF is the national army, not a religious militia, and therefore he needs to include everyone who serves in the IDF, haredim, national-religious, secular, Jews and non-Jews, and to refrain from the kind of terminology he used,” Gitzin said, noting Winter’s words turned the Gaza fight into a biblical religious war.
Exclusion of women and discriminating against solders because of their religion or lack there of is illegal in the IDF. But in practice, commanders like Winter regularly do discriminate and are rarely, if ever, punished for doing so.
When for the first time, in the past year or so small groups of Zionist Orthodox soldiers began walking out of IDF-wide or brigade-wide events when female soldiers or performers began to sing, IDF brass sharply criticized them. But illegal decisions like those made by Winter, which harm the morale and the standing of the majority of the soldiers who are not Orthodox, are rarely, if ever, condemned.