You’re late, Netanyahu!

July 29, 2010 - 7:58 AM by

One of the great equalizers in Israeli society is the army. Of course, I’m talking about those segments of society that actually serve in the IDF – not the ultra-Orthodox haredim, nor the far-Left draft dodgers, nor the Israeli Arab citizens for whom an obligatory national service still hasn’t been invoked – but for the rest of us…

Oh, all right, let’s restate that and say for the small majority of Israelis who actually serve in the IDF, the institution is a great equalizer. Just look at the names and hometowns of the air force men who died in this week’s helicopter training accident in Romania – a 48-year-old father from Modi’in, a young kibbutznik, another from a moshav, a Rehovot resident. When a tragedy like befalls the country, we all feel it, because the victims are not just faceless soldiers, but somebody’s neighbor.

Another way that the army evens things out is in its lack of favoritism in its treatment of soldiers. That even goes for soldiers who happen to be the son of the prime minister.

Yediot Aharonot reported today that Yair Netanyahu, the son of PM Binyamin Netanyahu, was recently handed a 10-day detention sentence after showing up late at the IDF Spokesperson’s Office headquarters, where he serves. After the young Netanyahu appealed his sentence, a senior officer at the base lopped two days off the punishment.

Military officials told Yediot that Netanyahu was being treated just like any other soldier. “He was tried for an incident for which any other soldier would have been tried and received adequate punishment,” one source said.

Yair should be applauded for not throwing his family name around and receiving special treatment, not that it would help in any case. However, given his intense schedule and shoulder-dropping responsibilities, it’s a surprise that the elder Netanyahu hasn’t taken his son’s hint and blown off a couple meetings. After all, who’s going to ground him?


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