A military rabbi told a crowd of soldiers Saturday night that the past month of war has been the “happiest of my life” — excluding the wounded, the dead and the hostages — and vowed Israel would conquer the Gaza Strip and Lebanon.
The military disavowed the remarks by Cpt. Amichai Friedman, the rabbi of the Nahal brigade’s military base, adding that he was called in for a clarification with his commanders.
In a video posted on social media, Friedman was seen addressing soldiers from a stage, telling them that excluding the terrible scenes of the Hamas terror group’s October 7 massacre, “I am left with the happiest month of my life.”
“Because we reached a point where the people of Israel leveled up. We are finally understanding who we are,” he said, stating that after 75 years, questions about the country’s identity were being answered. He did not elaborate on those points.
“Another thing we are making clear these days, something more important than anything else: this land is ours. All of it. Including Gaza. Including Lebanon. The entire Promised Land. We’re going to come back big time,” Friedman declared, referencing lands promised to the Jewish people in the Old Testament, but which are not part of the State of Israel.
Soldiers applauded and cheered the remarks, with some calling to “conquer Gaza.”
רב ההכשרות של חטיבת הנח"ל, עמיחי פרידמן, זומן לבירור אצל מפקדיו לאחר שנשא נאום הזוי בפני חיילים בדרום ואמר כי "זה החודש הכי משמח בחיים.. הארץ שלנו, כל הארץ, כולל עזה, כולל לבנון, כל הארץ המובטחת.. גוש קטיף זה קטן לעומת מה שנגיע". מצה"ל נמסר: "צה"ל לא יאפשר שיח פסול מסוג זה בין… pic.twitter.com/qOTzphDXWf
— איתי בלומנטל ???????? Itay Blumental (@ItayBlumental) November 5, 2023
“Gush Katif is tiny compared to what we will reach,” Friedman added, referring to the bloc of Israeli settlements evacuated during the 2005 disengagement from Gaza.
Some residents of the former settlements have expressed hope they will be able to return to the enclave if and when the military succeeds in conquering it during its offensive against Hamas.
The military said it “will not allow this improper discourse in its ranks — during peace or wartime,” in response to Friedman’s comments.
Israel declared war with the aim of eradicating Hamas following the terror group’s devastating October 7 onslaught, in which some 1,400 people, mostly civilians, were brutally murdered in their homes and at a music festival, and over 240 more were abducted, including some 30 babies and children.