‘Alarming’: IDF training course compares Religious Zionism to Hamas

Slide presented to senior IDF officers in a commanders’ course charges that terror group Hamas and the Religious Zionism movement have much in common.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

A slide presented to senior IDF commanders as part of a training course at the University of Haifa compared the Religious Zionist movement to the Hamas terror group, a watchdog group reported on Thursday.

The Torat Lehima NGO, which monitors political and ideological positions presented in IDF policies and official materials, posted a photo on its social media accounts of the slide in question, which appeared to have been taken by one of the course’s participants.

“What do Religious Zionism and Hamas have in common?” reads the slide’s title.

It then asserts that both Religious Zionism and Hamas “view the peace process as a threat” and “battle” the prospect of peace “by using social and religious” pressure, “along with violence.”

The slide also charges that Hamas and Religious Zionism for “not only succeeded to stop the peace process; their leaders have become political and social leaders.”

Among the salient points not acknowledged by the slide include the fact that a large proportion of active duty IDF soldiers in combat units identify as Religious Zionists, or that Hamas is officially designated as a terror organization in much of the world.

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“Don’t expect condemnation from the Ministry of Defense, from Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, or from Defense Minister [Yoav] Gallant,” Torat Lehima wrote as a caption to the picture.

The organization noted how the army’s top brass swiftly condemned a recent video stressing the importance of unity in the IDF, which depicted a worst-case scenario in which fighter pilots asked soldiers if they were for or against the judicial reform before performing life-saving military maneuvers.

But, Torat Lehima said, this slide was unlikely to spark the same level of ire from security officials.

“A comparison between tens of thousands of religious fighters and officers and a terrorist organization is not as serious and despicable as a video against refusal [to serve].”

Journalist and political commentator Caroline Glick responded to the slide on Twitter, writing that “the IDF spokesman bases his messages on Palestinian Authority propaganda” and urging “reform” for “the top of the defense echelon.”

Likud MK Tali Gottliv said that the slide made her “want to vomit” and that “the brainwashing of senior officers is alarming and infuriating.”

Gottliv also added that she believed the “Deep State” had “infiltrated the senior ranks of the IDF.”

IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari released a laconic statement regarding the slide, saying that an “investigation into the matter” would be launched and that the content “doesn’t reflect” the values of the army.