Commander of the Givati Brigade, Colonel Ofer Winter, addressed his religious troops Sunday, saying that they weren't allowed to leave during a special show of the IDF's military band, despite any religious leanings they may have against the fact that female soldiers would be taking part in the performance.
Winter's comments displayed an odd contradiction to previous reports that Israeli singer Sarit Hadad's performance at the event was cancelled because of Col. Winter's own religious beliefs causing him to object to a performance by a female.
"This is just for one song that I have no control over," Winter told his troops. "I'm asking you to have patience. I've suffered from this enough over the last week. My wife can't listen to all of this poppycock either," he said referring to media reports of Hadad's cancellation.
"I've seen great rabbis who didn't leave the auditorium during events like these," said Winter. "I don't want to see anyone leaving 'by mistake'. Be patient. Whoever's having a hard time can put his head down and wait for it to be over."
Male singer Moshe Peretz performed in place of Hadad, taking the stage before the military band that included female soldiers. However, despite his own religious convictions, the Colonel insisted that the soldiers stay put for the military band's turn before the crowd.
"We are one special brigade that walks together and fights together," he told the soldiers. "You fought like lions and we're meeting this evening for an event that isn't necessarily the end of the war. We don't choose our tasks, we do the best we can with what we have."