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Monday, May 15, 2006

Hananel Dayan-Meged Discharged from IDF - Appeals to Supreme Court

Hananel Dayan-Meged, the soldier who refused to shake the hand of IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz on Independence Day, because Halutz had commanded the forces that destroyed his grandparents' house in Gush Katif, is back in the news again.

Yesterday, YNet ran an article about Rabbinic support for Dayan-Meged in which the 'scare quotes' made clear that they were not pleased:
Prominent rabbis praise soldier Hananel Dayan for 'courageous' refusal to shake chief of staff's hand during awards ceremony.
The article went on to quote several prominent Rabbis in the National Religious community who - if they did not support Dayan-Meged outright - at least refused to ascribe all of the blame regarding the incident to him in a pamphlet that was issued this past weekend. The Rabbi whom they described as 'most moderate' in his support for Dayan-Meged, Petach Tikva Hesder Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Yuval Sherlo (yes, the same one who was in Yeshivat Har Etzion in the late 70's and early '80's), was perhaps also the most prescient:
"I feel that both sides acted foolishly," he wrote. "The soldier should not have been so rude and use the ceremony to express a political stance. My view in principle is that we should not conduct our struggle against the army. On the other hand, the IDF – which is the strong and powerful side in this incident – acted in a childish manner and with hysteria and stupidity," Sherlo concluded.
Well, the IDF is continuing to act 'in a childish manner and with hysteria and stupidity" - and with vindictiveness. The Jerusalem Post reports this afternoon that Dayan-Meged was discharged from the army today (apparently in addition to his having been expelled from his unit last week), one month before his original discharge date. And Dayan-Meged, who knows what a dishonorable discharge does to one's career prospects in this army-centric country, has taken the army to the Supreme Court in a bid to have himself reinstated.

If nothing else, you have to wonder whether the IDF could not find a better way of spending scarce resources than defending this case in the Supreme Court.


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