ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 146

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IDF taps chief rabbi who once appeared to condone rape by soldiers

Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot nominates Rabbi Col. Eyal Karim for the position of IDF chief rabbi, despite his controversial past.

In 2012, Karim was caught up in a flurry of condemnations over his response to a question, posed to him in 2002 on the religious website Kipa, asking if IDF soldiers were permitted to commit rape during wartime.

In his response, Karim appeared to condone such practices, among several prohibitions — including the consumption of non-kosher food — that soldiers were allowed to violate during wartime.

When his comments were unearthed in 2012, he published a clarification stating that he did not condone rape and that they were taken out of context.

In addition to Karim, Eisenkot nominates another 12 colonels for promotion to brigadier general, pending the approval of Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.

Rabbi Col. Eyal Karim, nominated to become IDF chief rabbi, sits next to his predecessor, Brig. Gen. Rafi Peretz, on April 21, 2016 (Diana Khananashvili/Defense Ministry)
Rabbi Col. Eyal Karim (left), nominated to become IDF chief rabbi, sits next to his predecessor, Brig. Gen. Rafi Peretz, on April 21, 2016 (Diana Khananashvili/Defense Ministry)

— Judah Ari Gross

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