IDF now says it made a “mistake” when it sentenced an unnamed American-born soldier who recently moved to Israel from Boston to an 11-day prison sentence after he brought sandwiches containing pork made for him by his kibbutznik grandmother back to his IDF base and ate one of them. The 11-day sentence is about double what first time haredi draft dodgers receive.
IDF Says It Erred When It Punished American Recruit For Bringing Treife Sandwiches On IDF Base
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
IDF now says it made a “mistake” when it sentenced an unnamed American-born soldier who recently moved to Israel from Boston to an 11-day prison sentence after he brought sandwiches containing pork made for him by his kibbutznik grandmother back to his IDF base and ate one of them, various Israeli and Western media reported today.
The 11-day prison sentence is about double what the average haredi draft-dodger gets for his first offense.
When it heard about the 11-day prison sentence, Israel Radio contacted the IDF for comment. The IDF initially responded by nixing the prison sentence and replacing it with a different punishment: canceling the soldier’s weekend leave and confining him to his base for the 11 days.
But the story went viral anyway.
At first, the IDF dug in its heels to defend the sentence. In statement early today it reportedly said the sentence was justified because the soldier had “violated rules and regulations.”
But the continuing firestorm of condemnation for the IDF caused it to backtrack, and in a Facebook entry posted later Tuesday, the IDF Spokesperson Brigadier-General Moti Almoz wrote that the soldier’s punishment had been cancelled and acknowledged the IDF had "mistake" in its handling the situation, Ynet reported.
"The bottom line is that we made a mistake. The IDF will continue to keep kosher, but won't probe another soldier's sandwich. There is tension in Israeli society and different stances and opinions exist. In the IDF, there is room for everyone,” Almoz wrote.
Kitchens on all IDF bases are kosher as is all food provided to soldiers in the field.
But the IDF, under pressure from haredi and Zionist Orthodox groups, made it a violation for anyone to bring non-kosher food onto an IDF base, even if that non-kosher food is never brought into the kitchen or mess hall. In part, this is meant to prevent the IDF’s kosher utensils and plates from being used for the non-kosher food – a rabbinic fence, if you will, meant to protect the kitchens’ kosher status.
The soldier, who is in training, reportedly said he was unaware of the ban on bringing non-kosher food onto his base.