The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has rescinded a punishment levied against an American-born “lone soldier” (the term for members of the IDF without parents living in Israel) for eating a ham sandwich on a military base. Ham is not kosher.
“In the bottom line, we were wrong. The IDF continues to keep kosher on the one hand, but will not pry into the sandwiches brought by soldiers on the other hand,” IDF spokesman Moti Almoz wrote on Facebook.
The lone soldier was originally punished with 11 days in a military jail. The solider, who was living with his grandmother, says that she gave him the ham sandwich and that he was unaware of the IDF’s kosher rules. After the story was reported by Israel Radio and picked up by several domestic and foreign news outlets, the IDF modified its position on the punishment.
“There are tensions in Israeli society and there are different positions and different views. The IDF has room for everyone. The punishment was canceled and the soldier will be released home just like his friends in the commanders’ course,” Almoz wrote.