A newly published report has uncovered tensions in the relationship between Israeli soldiers and their leaders. The Israeli daily, Ha’aretz, published on Sunday, May 29, the final annual report of what is called the complaints commission for the Israeli army. It identified “structural problems” in the forces that negatively affect the conditions of military service.
The newspaper pointed out that the last report of the commission, which was issued in 2010, had shed light on incidents that were detected in the Israeli army and were described as “disturbing”; such as one soldier been beaten repeatedly by the commander of a military base and humiliated in public, as well as threats of being discharged from military service for reasons relating to mental health.
The incidents included “written threats” addressed by one senior military officer to a subordinate soldier who worked for him as a driver, as well as the exposure of an Israeli female soldier who was insulted by a higher ranking officer, who described her as a failure and being worthless. In addition, another female soldier was badly humiliated in public after one of the higher ranking officers wrote “degrading and cruel” statements on her own page on the social networking site Facebook.
The report which was presented last Wednesday to the Israeli president Shimon Peres examined more than one-third of the complaints submitted by soldiers and was documented by a military regulatory body over the past year. It also investigated issues relating to health treatment problems (12%), poor conditions of military service (8%) and problems related to wages (7%).