Israel’s Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Thursday expressed support for the Israeli army’s Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Golan, who was strongly criticized for appearing to compare Israel to pre-Holocaust Germany in remarks at an annual Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony.
Ya’alon said he has “full confidence” in Golan, adding that the general is a “valued commander, driven by values and many accomplishments”.
“The onslaught against him and the populism towards him in light of an intentionally twisted interpretation to the things he said last night are an additional disconcerting and alarming attempt to politically harm the IDF and its officers,” said Ya’alon.
Israelis behave like Nazis, says IGF general
Major General Yair Golan, deputy chief of staff, Israeli Defense… https://t.co/38HBszvzLn
— Mustafa Malik (@malik_in_dc) May 5, 2016
He added: “Shame on us if we allow this to happen.”
Golan published a clarification following the remarks in which he denied the comparison, saying it would be “absurd and baseless”.
Golan has come under fire after his remarks suggesting a parallel between Nazi Germany and present day Israel in his Holocaust Remembrance speech. The controversial comments fueled heated discussion among politicians and on social media.
— Remi Brulin (@RBrulin) May 5, 2016
“It’s scary to see horrifying developments that took place in Europe begin to unfold here,” Golan said, addressing an audience at Tel Yitzhak in central Israel.
The general added that “the Holocaust should bring us to ponder our public lives and, furthermore, it must lead anyone who is capable of taking public responsibility to do so.”