Netanyahu criticises general over Holocaust remarks

A wave of unrest that erupted in October has so far killed 203 Palestinians and 28 Israelis (File Photo: Reuters)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday criticised the deputy head of Israel’s armed forces for remarks appearing to compare contemporary Israeli society to Nazi Germany.

“The comparison drawn in the words of the deputy chief of staff regarding events which characterised Nazi Germany 80 years ago is outrageous,” said Netanyahu.

“They do injustice to Israeli society and cause a belittling of the Holocaust,” the Israeli leader added.

“The deputy chief of staff is an outstanding officer, but his remarks on this issue were utterly mistaken and unacceptable to me.”

In an address delivered Wednesday on the eve of Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, Major General Yair Golan said the commemoration “must bring us to reflect deeply on the nature of man, even when that man is ourselves”.

“If there is something that frightens me with the memory of the Holocaust, it is identifying horrifying processes that happened in Europe, and specifically in Germany, 70, 80 and 90 years ago, and finding testimony to them amongst us, today, in 2016,” he said.

“There is, after all, nothing easier and simpler than hating the foreigner... arousing fears and terrifying,” he said.

The chief-of-staff, Lieutenant General Gadi Eisenkot, angered politicians in February with remarks warning young soldiers not to use excessive force in subduing suspected Palestinian assailants.

Most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks, Israeli authorities say.

Rights groups have called on Israel to stop using “lethal force” against attackers, and Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom has accused the Jewish state of carrying out “extrajudicial executions”.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47