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An inside look at IDF's 'faith-driven' warriors

The IDF and Israeli society as a whole must cope with religious-Zionist commanders, who perceive fighting terrorism in Gaza as a divine decree, thus reshaping the military ethos.
An Israeli soldier prays by a tank at an Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) staging area in the central Gaza border November 21, 2012.  Israeli air strikes shook the Gaza Strip and Palestinian rockets struck across the border as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held talks in Jerusalem in the early hours of Wednesday, seeking a truce that can hold back Israel's ground troops.  REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis (ISRAEL - Tags: CONFLICT CIVIL UNREST MILITARY RELIGION) - RTR3AOGQ

An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman made every effort on the evening of Aug. 10 to distance Col. Ofer Winter, commander of the Givati Brigade, from the strange decision to replace singer Sarit Hadad with Moshe Peretz at a performance before the troops from the brigade, who had fought in the Gaza Strip during Operation Protective Edge.

The performance in question was a special concert, scheduled to take place before 5,000 soldiers next week at a gathering of the Givati Brigade. Hadad accepted the invitation to volunteer a performance, but on Sunday it was announced that Peretz, and not Hadad, would appear in the concert. Army sources claimed that the decision was made by the brigade’s commander. Winter, an Orthodox Jew, refused to allow a woman to perform before his troops, so Hadad was replaced by Peretz.

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