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Mon. Nov 21, 2016 News from Israel

  • Attorney General decides not to investigate Submarine Scandal
  • New proposal to allow females to serve in Armored Corps blasted by former IDF commanders
  • Supreme Court freezes IDF chief rabbi nomination over controversial comments against women

In a new twist to a saga involving alleged infractions over Israel’s planned purchase of three new German submarines, the head of the IDF’s civilian workers organization Moshe Friedman claimed that senior figures in the navy deliberately provoked the workforce that maintains Israel’s submarine fleet into declaring an industrial dispute, as part of an effort to have the German shipbuilder do the lucrative maintenance work instead. The chairman of the Histadrut labor federation, Avi Nissenkorn told channel 2 news that he and Friedman , met with Attorney David Shimron and Miki Ganor, an Israeli representative of the German company, who is reportedly poised to earn 30 million euros from the deal should it go ahead. A proposal was presented, he said, for the German firm to take over the maintenance work, in Israel, from the navy. 

Attempts to persuade the Histadrut to agree to give the work to a new German-operated shipyard were accompanied by harsh statements in an attempt to blacken the dock workers, while in fact Israeli shipyard workers never halted maintenance work on submarines. Meanwhile Coalition Chairman MK David Bitan, a close associate of the Israeli Prime Minister, criticized Netanyahu's attorney David Shimron in regards to the recent submarine acquisition affair saying that There was no doubt that the criticism on the submarine matter should be towards Shimron, not towards Netanyahu. and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the recent German submarine acquisition outrage, "Calm down, I'll be here for a long time." "There are people who insist to blackening us," stated Netanyahu. "It is no wonder that the people who create an industry of depression are the same people who every week blow balloons of hot air. These balloons empty as fast as they get blown."So far, the Israeli Attorney General has claimed that there is no need to involve the Israel Police by launching a police investigation or a legal inquiry into the matter.

Several former IDF commanders came out against a bill proposal that would result in the IDF integrating women in combat roles that are currently not open to them. Brig. Gen. (res.) Avigdor Kahalani, a former minister, objected to integrating women into combat roles in the Armored Corps."I think it's a mistake. I also think it won't happen," "There's no reason in the world to take women and have them charge into the trenches with a knife between their teeth... there are enough men to do this job. Former IDF Ground Forces commander Maj. Gen. (Res.) Yiftah Ron-Tal also slammed the proposal, asserting that "Putting men and women together inside a tank is crazy."

The supreme  Court on Monday temporarily suspended the appointment of Col. Eyal Karim as the new Israel Defense Forces chief rabbi, saying that before he could assume the post he had to clarify remarks he made over a decade ago that were perceived as condoning rape of non-Jewish women during wartime. The High Court was responding to a petition by the left-wing Meretz party. Karim maintains that he was speaking entirely theoretically about a Biblical passage.

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