As the military continues efforts to draft avreichim, the IDF continues to provide additional ammunition to those opposed to inducting them on the basis the IDF is simply not a suitable venue for avreichim.
Visitors from abroad who plan to join the IDF under the Gadna program were hosted by the military’s education corps which took their guests around the country to experience the land and our heritage. One of the stops was the Ethiopian Church in Jerusalem, where they remained for a cultural program and presentation, escorted by female soldiers.
Ladaat.net explains that while the youths are not officially soldiers, they are being hosted by the IDF and it is the IDF that decided to take them to a church. The visit to the church was at 21:00, after a visit earlier in the day to the Israeli Arab municipality of Abu Gosh, where they were exposed to “Arab culture”. They also visited the Old City of Jerusalem that day.
When asked to comment on the stop at the Ethiopian Church, the IDF Spokesperson’s Office released a statement that soldiers are exposed to many cultural sites around the country, showing them various cultures, including visits to holy sites of a number of religions.
It should be pointed out that in line with IDF directives, a soldier cannot be compelled to enter a house of worship from other religions if that visit is for a non-operational purpose.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)