The Israeli military is mustering battlefield rabbis in what it calls a campaign to promote religious values in its frontline ranks.
The move, announced in the latest issue of the military’s official weekly magazine, Bamahane, drew fire on Monday from one of Israel’s most popular newspaper columnists, who cautioned against creating a “God’s Army.”
Under the plan, a reserve army rabbi will be assigned to every battalion in the military’s northern command, whose areas of responsibility include the Lebanese and Syrian borders.
“The assimilation of religion into combat battalions is increasing,” said an article in Bamahane, which gave details of the program being implemented after a year-long pilot project…
Now, the Bamahane article said, “the commander of the Golani (infantry) brigade’s Battalion 51 does not move a meter without his rabbi.”
The rabbis’ roles were expanded in Israel’s Gaza war in late 2008 and early 2009, when military chaplains accompanied reserve battalions that invaded the enclave, in a conflict launched with the declared aim of halting militant rocket attacks…
…According to an army commander’s account at the time, some frontline rabbis mixed politics with religion, telling soldiers they were fighting a “religious war” to expel “the gentiles interfering with our conquest of this holy land.”
Just in case you forgot how a theocracy works.