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Barak and Army Chief Joke About Female Soldiers

Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz ordered reporters to refrain from publishing remarks made concerning female soldiers during a visit to an army drill in Israel’s North on Tuesday.

The comments were made during a Golani Brigade drill, when, seemingly unaware that there were cameras in the vicinity, the two top officials – together with the commander of the Golani Brigade – joked about the issue of women serving in the army.

After Gantz noticed reporters from Army Radio and Channel 2, he turned to them and asked them not to report the conversation. Gantz told the Army Radio reporter to shelf the recording, and threatened the Channel 2 reporter that if the footage airs it would be his last piece.

Yet despite the army chief’s warnings, the video was released. In it, Barak asks: “Who are the girls here? From the battalion or the brigade? Or from the division?” Gantz replied: “They sing during the break. During the break they start to sing.”

Golani commander Ofek Buchris then said that “there is no problem for them to sing, solo, everything will be fine.” Barak said “there’s Dana from the minister’s communication here, she’s from a moshav, she can sing without uniform,” to which Buchris replied: “As long as she’s without uniform and with clothes it’s fine.”

At that point Gantz turned to an Army Radio reporter and said: “Army Radio, this does not come out. Even it’s the scoop of your lifetime. It’s stays in your tape recorder.” He then told a Channel 2 reporter that if he airs the tape “it will be the last piece. It would be a shame if would be the last piece. Like the last war. I promise you it would be the last piece.”

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