President Shimon Peres met with Major-General Avichai Mandelblit on Sunday and expressed his support in light of recent criticism the military advocate general has been facing over the conviction of soldiers who took part in the Gaza war.
In response to hate slogans smeared on Mandelblit's house, the president said, "I was shocked to the depths of my soul. We should all condemn such violent forms of expression and attempts to delegitimize the IDF's judicial system."
"It is important that we remain vigilant so the IDF will continue to be one of the most moral armies in the world," said the president.
"We are dealing with the most central aspect of our lives – the IDF, an army that triumphed not only because of its ammunition but because of its purity of arms and its moral values which we must continue to defend," said Peres.
Last week, the words "Traitor" and "Mandelblit and Goldstone are traitors" were spray-painted on the wall surrounding the military advocate general's home in Petah Tikva.
Mandelblit decided to indict two combat soldiers from the Givati Brigade who ordered a nine-year-old Palestinian to open boxes and suitcases they feared were booby-trapped during Operation Cast Lead in 2009. The soldiers were convicted of overstepping their authority, endangering a life and inappropriate conduct.
'World against us.' Peres and Mandelblit (Photo: Mark Naiman, GPO)
Mendelblit told the president that in recent years he has had to work very hard to defend the army and its combat soldiers, "because the world is constantly against us, and this is a moral army with strong values."
Peres told the military advocate general, "I know that you have a very responsible attitude to your work, and that you do what you do with a clear conscience and with sensitivity.
"In the overwhelming majority of cases, you did not glean anything out of the ordinary and opted not to file charges; but in three cases you found misconduct that was contrary to the norms of the IDF, and you acted accordingly," said the president.
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