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May 15, 1992 - Image 165

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-05-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I NEWS I

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soldiers' Strike
triggers Debate

\ Tel Aviv (JTA) — A situa-

On in the Israel Defense
Qorce resembling a labor-
anagement dispute in
vilian life has triggered a
ational debate over
litary discipline.
It involves a platoon of a
r . ck paratroop brigade
Vhich went "on strike" last
week to protest "demeaning
-eatment" by their corn-
' anding officer.
;Eight of the men went
Posent-without-leave. Four
'Ilo returned were promptly
Court-martialed and
entenced to 56 days in jail.
_he other four are still
WOL.
The walkout was the se-
ond in two weeks from the
le unit and followed simi-
ar action by members of an
armored infantry brigade
ast month. Military
pokesmen described it as
utiny.
In the most recent case,
he soldiers, all experienced
-oopers, complained that
heir new commander was
treating them like raw
cruits. The news media
icked up the story when the
families of the court-
artialed men demanded to
i now why only they were
'_unished when the whole
i atoon was involved.
Knesset member Yossi
Sarid of the left-wing Meretz
bloc asked the IDF chief of
aff ' Lt. Gen. Ehud Barak,
st
\-,
co . investigate personally
"the new phenomenon of
r aesertions by experienced
soldiers."
But the publicity disgusted
the military brass, who
believe internal matters
hould not be the subject of
public discussion. A retired
general warned that "the
IDF cannot allow itself to be
dictated to as if by local
trade unions."
An IDF statement said the
rattalion commander "met
with the soldiers and corn-
`nand staff" of the company
involved. The soldiers'
grievance was that although
they are seasoned hands, the
new commanding officer
"hazed" them as if they were
recruits new to military
ays.
The men who deserted said
three successive company
commanders had deprived
them of privileges normally
granted veteran soldiers and
their protests got no re-
sponse. They said their
latest commander was the
harshest of all.
The IDF stressed that the

S



newly appointed unit com-
mander was rated as an
outstanding officer who
knew how to instill
discipline. He replaced a
commander removed
allegedly for being too lax.
"Discipline must be en-
forced by the local com-
manders, who may have to
lead the men into battle
some day," the retired gen-
eral said.
But according to Mr. Sarid,
"punishing individual
soldiers is not the solution"
to the discipline problem. "It
indicates the failure of their
immediate commanders and
of the entire military estab-
lishment," the Knesset
member said.

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with the participation of Jewish War Veterans
Department of Michigan and Women's
Auxiliary. CANTOR MAX SHIMANSKY of
Congregation Beth Achim will officiate.
Families, Relatives and Friends are intived to
attend.

ABRAHAM SELESNEY,

Secretary

CHARLES SNOW,

HAROLD GREENSPAN,
SY FINKELSTEIN,
LAWRENCE J. TRAISON

MEREL EPSTEIN,

Vice-President

Trustees

TZVI S. SILVERSTEIN

RABBI BOROUCH E. LEVINE,

Treasurer

Executive Director

SAMUEL P. HAVIS,

MICHAEL I. HOCHHEISER,

Cemetery Chairman

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MILTON KLEIN

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Murderer
Leaves Haven

Toronto (JTA) — For the
last 16 months, Dmitri Ber-
man has been holed up in-
side the Canadian Embassy
in Moscow, in semi-asylum
from a murder rap that was
first leveled by Soviet and
then independent Ukrainian
sources.
On April 30, he left the
strip of Canadian territory
on Starokonyushenny Lane
to face a possible retrial for
murder.
Michael Bell, Canada's
ambassador to Russia, said
the day after that he did not
know where the Ukrainian
Jewish refugee had gone.
Canada will continue to
monitor the case, he said,
which began with the Aug.
1, 1988, knifing of a Molda-
vian Soviet navy ensign in
the Bug River port of
Nikolayev, Mr. Berman's
hometown.
Mr. Berman, a slim 28-
year-old factory worker, was
arrested for the sailor's
murder. Despite scanty
evidence, he was tried and
convicted in March 1989,
after eight months in deten-
tion.

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