Deputy Knesset Speaker MK Oren Hazan (Likud) fumed over reports that IDF Paratrooper Brigade soldiers were forced to "hide" on the way to their induction ceremony in Jerusalem's Old City Tuesday, blaming the phenomenon on "feeble leftism."
"The brain reels at the fact that on the day in which we celebrate in the Israeli Knesset the unification of Jerusalem and its liberation by the paratroopers, our paratroopers hide behind curtains in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel," he stated Wednesday evening.
"Leftist feebleness has spread throughout Israeli society and an apologist policy […] unfortunately penetrates our army."
"It's terrible that soldiers from the same battalion who liberated the Western Wall are forced to return in disgrace rather than pride. "
Hazan called to encourage the soldiers, not knock them down.
"You have to tell them they never march alone – not in the eternal capital of Israel – and they do not need to hide behind the curtains for fear of being identified as soldiers," he continued.
"IDF soldiers do not have to worry about our country's sovereign territory only. It is inconceivable that in our country we have to fear that someone will recognize us as Jews or as soldiers in the Israeli army."
On Tuesday night, IDF paratrooper recruits who were being bused to their induction ceremony at the Western Wall (Kotel) were told to close the curtains on the bus windows as they arrived at the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem's Old City – ending a tradition honoring the route Paratroopers entered to liberate Jerusalem during the Six-Day War.
The IDF and police are mystified as to who gave the order, as both say it is against policy.