IDF Disciplines Soldiers for Singing Hanukkah Songs thru Jenin Mosque Loudspeaker

Daniel Hagari (Gil Cohen-Magen / AFP via Getty)
Gil Cohen-Magen / AFP via Getty

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced Thursday that it had suspended several soldiers who were seen in a widely-shared video singing Hanukkah songs through the loudspeaker of a minaret on a mosque during a counter-terror operation in Jenin.

Jenin, a Palestinian Authority-controlled city in the West Bank known as a hotbed for violent terrorism, has been the target of an IDF operation lasting for two and-a-half days.

This week has also marked the annual Hanukkah holiday.

In a video circulated on social media, an Israeli soldier is heard singing the words of a traditional Hanukkah song, “We Have Come to Banish the Darkness.”

The last lines of the chorus are heard: “Run away, darkness, in the face of the light.”

Other videos emerged of soldiers singing religious songs in the mosque.

In his evening briefing, IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said (via IDF translation):

I wish to address the unusual footage published today from the Jenin mosque. IDF soldiers are required to act professionally in accordance with the spirit of the IDF and its values. This is how the overwhelming majority of soldiers act; we will not compromise the IDF’s conduct. Anyone who does not conduct themselves according to IDF values will face corresponding measures.

The soldiers involved were suspended. Israel’s Sephardic Chief Rabbi also denounced the soldiers’ behavior, according to the Times of Israel, and told the IDF to remind soldiers “that they must not harm the religious sentiments of the adherents of other faiths.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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