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IDF Soldier Jailed for Accepting Chanukah Doughnut

by Dov Benovadia – Hamodia

Among five soldiers who are being disciplined for accepting what the IDF said were “inappropriate gifts” during the course of their service at IDF checkpoints was one female soldier who, according to a report on Israel Radio, “crossed a red line when she accepted food from civilians” – in her case, a jelly doughnut (sufganiya) distributed by Chabad chassidim in honor of Chanukah.

The IDF has been cracking down on soldiers at the checkpoints, who have been accused of receiving bribes, both in cash and kind, in order to look the other way or actively assist Palestinian Authority Arabs to enter Israel for work and other purposes. The assistance does not extend to individuals who have no “case” and show up without papers at all, but involves allowing farmers to cross the security fence to get to their land inside the green line or inside a settlement at off-hours, among other things.

Another issue that the army has been cracking down on are gifts of food, drinks, sweaters, socks, and other items by Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria who pass through the checkpoints. The IDF does not want soldiers accepting such gifts for fear that they will develop relationships with the residents, preferring to keep everything on a “professional” level.

Caught up in a sweep of those latter offenders was the soldier in question, Israel Radio reported, whose “crime” was accepting the donut from Chabad chassidim who light giant menorahs at the checkpoints each night of Chanukah. Under questioning, the soldier admitting taking the “bribe,” with the resultant penalty – seven days in the brig.

Soldiers on checkpoint duty have long complained of the arcane rules about accepting gifts from Israeli drivers, saying that being posted for 12 hours without a break or supplies was an impossible task. “It isn’t right or fair to place us for long hours at the checkpoints to check cars and reject a snack or drink of soda offered by passengers or drivers,” the report quoted soldiers as saying. In response, the IDF said that it provided all the supplies needed by soldiers at the checkpoints, and that there was no need to accept gifts.

13 Comments

  • 1. Outrage wrote:

    In every society civilians bring holiday cheer to their military personnel. If it were a $5,000 gift card I understand. A $1 donut?!!?

  • 4. oy- wrote:

    i guess this is the way they thank and show gratitude to the youth for keeping them safe (of course Hashem, but not in their eyes)
    what a disgrace

  • 6. stupid, unfeeling bureaucratic idiots wrote:

    this just sets the stage for alienation between
    Jewish residents and soldiers

  • 7. Actually wrote:

    There are a lot of reasons for this. One of them is safety. Accepting gifts from civillians has the potential to put the soldiers at risk. In this case, let’s say lethel drugs in the doughnut, or even a hidden bomb. Because you can’t just pick and choose who is safe and who is not, everything and everyone needs to be off limits.

    • 8. Chabad in Israel wrote:

      I read this with my jaw on the floor. At my checkpoint, those soldiers have gladly accepted Mishloach Manot & sufganiyot from us… they are happy not to have to exist on C rations alone. When we went to Kever Rachel during the hot summer, we gave bottles of cold soda. Believe me, they were very grateful. It’s one way of showing Hakoret Hatov.

      Having said that, I definitely can see a grenade being pushed down a pair of lange gatkes or ricin injected into a donut. Right.

  • 9. Forever wrote:

    Chanukah will be around forever but the IDF will not.
    May we all be zoche to have our sufganiot this year in Eretz Yisroel.

  • 10. oy- wrote:

    sorry, that is not the reason why she is jailed,. bec they are afraid of being poisoned or blown up.
    where do you draw the line, for three years they cant accept birthday gifts, holiday gifts, monetary gifts- huh?
    before every yom tov there are articles how matza is not healthy, how doughnuts arent healthy , hamentashen and before shvous they will feature how milchiks is not healthy. they just want to alienate anything traditional, frum

  • 12. to number 11 wrote:

    if you have ever been to Israel they start making and giving out doughnuts rosh chodesh cheshvan!

  • 13. Moishe not rabeinu wrote:

    To 9. IDF will be around forever! If you want to eat sufganiot in Israel buy a ticket.

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