Haaretz (Link) - Yair Ettinger (February 21, 2011)
The events currently shaking the Arab world “were ordained from above” by a guiding hand, Israel Defense Forces Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Naveh said on Sunday. Naveh added that the Israeli army needed faith in God now more than its supply of planes and tanks.
Naveh made the statements while accompanying Israel’s two chief rabbis, Rabbi Yona Metzger and Rabbi Shlomo Amar, on their visit to the chief military rabbi’s office at the Tzrifin base.
In remarks during the visit captured by the pro-settler news outlet Arutz 7, Naveh called Israel an island of calm in the storm of the Middle East, turmoil that had not been foreseen by intelligence officials despite their good work.
“But it was ordained from above,” he said, “and we don’t know where it will lead, but it’s clear to us that there is a hand from above.”
Naveh said supposedly democratic forces in the Middle East have always been supplanted by negative extremist and religious forces. Addressing the chief rabbis, Naveh called the IDF a Jewish army, an army of believers and an army that from the beginning always “knew how to create the right balance among communities represented in it, all the religions represented in it, but always leading with the power of faith and adherence to mitzvot [religious commandments].”
He said in recent years, the army had become more welcoming to religious soldiers. †