“Because of your participation in the protests, there are no missiles”
Hundreds of soldiers from selected reserve divisions were astonished during a conversation with their commander, Brig. Gen. Aharon Haliwa. The commander accused that because of their participation in the summer protests, “we don’t have any money now to fire missiles.»
The surprising conversation took place several days ago, as reservists were training in the Elyakim base for operational deployment. Brig. Gen. Haliwa gathered them for a conversation, during which he said, “because of the protests, the defense budget was cut, and now we can’t fire missiles during training.” The commander also harshly attacked the Tel Aviv residents who took part in last summer’s protests for social justice.
According to the meeting’s participants, the reservists were stunned, and felt that the division commander was blaming them. According to the participants, Haliwa, a northern Tel Aviv resident himself, also said that he would have replaced some of his neighbors. He asked the reservists “not to leak” the conversation.
Brig. General Haliwa is considered one of the Paratrooper’s leading officers, and even served as the commander of the Bahad 1 School for officers. However, this is not the first time he expressed himself in a controversial manner. In 2001, while serving as commander of the Paratrooper’s regimental training base, he told recruits, “there’s a chance you will come back in caskets.” In the past, he spoke against soldiers serving in reduced services, such as those in the Yeshivat Hesder and the Haredi Nahal Brigade, and said that he discriminates against them in promotion tracks.
The IDF Spokesperson responded by saying, “we have no intention of responding to things said in closed military forums.»