No Place for Racism in the Army, Says IDF Chief of Staff
JNS.org – There is no place for racism in the Israel Defense Forces, and stringent measures must be implemented to that end, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi said on Sunday.
Kochavi made the remarks during a meeting with 12 career soldiers hailing from Israel’s Ethiopian community, convened after the chief of staff received a letter from Ethiopian-Israeli officers and non-commissioned officers about the prevalence of racism in the army.
Attendees conveyed their personal experiences and feelings on the matter with the chief of staff.
Kochavi said that officers and commanders throughout the military must instill and strengthen the principles of tolerance and acceptance of the other, in training and study courses and via specialized educational programs on the subject.
Earlier this month, mass protests across the country, sparked by the killing of an Ethiopian teen by an off-duty police officer in Haifa, turned violent.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement expressing sympathy with the Ethiopian-Israeli community and acknowledging that “there are problems that need to be solved.”