Israel National News
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reacted furiously to the report by Arutz Sheva that the IDF Education and Youth Corps accused pre-state Jewish freedom fighters the Irgun and Lehi as organizations of terrorism.
Netanyahu instructed his bureau staff to check who wrote the document and asked to make sure that it was shelved immediately.
The IDF removed the document accusing the groups of terrorism from the IDF website so that instructors and officers could not use it.
In a manual titled “Nationalism in the Land of Israel – Between Zionists and Palestinians”, the Irgun is accused of “terrorist activities” against the British. The document also accuses the Lehi of “radical terrorism” against the Mandate.
The manual also provides “food for thought” style questions which put forward comparisons between the pre-state Jewish groups and Arab terrorists who seek to destroy the State of Israel.
“Some have compared the Irgun and Lehi organizations to the Fatah movement [a member of the PLO] and other Arab terrorist organizations.”
Arutz Sheva reached out to the IDF, to clarify whether the document represents the army’s official stance on the Irgun and Lehi.
In response, an army spokesman claimed the document was a mistake and had been removed.
The IDF spokesman also noted that the document in question “was written more than a decade ago, is not relevant, and is no longer is use,” and that the IDF currently teaches that the Irgun and Lehi were among the three defense force organizations that operated during the British Mandate to promote the establishment of the State of Israel.
Despite this claim, however, the document was offered on the IDF’s website for use by officers and training officials until it was removed following Arutz Sheva’s query. In addition, the document was used as training material just days prior to its removal from the army website.
Earlier this week, Arutz Sheva uncovered learning materials produced by the Education and Youth Corps warning army instructors not to tell soldiers or officers in training that the Old City of Jerusalem was liberated during the Six Day War.
In a document titled, “Emphasizing the explanations” under a section called “Jerusalem’s reunification,” it says, “The biggest accomplishment of the war was the reunification of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, 19 years after the War of Independence. Jerusalem is the beating heart of the Jewish nation, and it is a city holy to three nations, a city which combines past, present, and future.”
“However, we call on the commanders to carefully choose their words, and not, God forbid, to say that Jerusalem was liberated during the Six Day War”.