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Former Israeli general compares Israel to Nazi Germany

Former Chief of the IDF Major General Yair Golan compared Israel to Nazi Germany [NurPhoto/Getty]

Date of publication: 3 October, 2019

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Former army chief Yair Golan warned that Israel's democracy could be exploited similarly to how the Nazi's rose to power in 1930's Germany.
Former Israeli army chief Yair Golan warned Israel could share the same fate as Nazi Germany as a result of the growing influence of extremist religious forces.

"We must be careful, very careful, because among us there are radicals with a messianic outlook who will use Israeli democracy," Golan said in a radio interview Thursday. 

"I remind everyone that the Nazis came to power in a democratic manner," the left-wing politican added.

Golan was recently elected to Israel's parliament for the Democratic Union, a left-wing political alliance. He, along with other elected representatives, will take their oaths of office Thursday as a deadlocked general election leaves Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu scrambling to find a way forward.

In May 2016, when he was in his senior military position, Golan provoked widespread anger among the right-wing Israeli elite when he compared certain attitudes in present-day Israel to "nauseating trends" in 1930s Germany.

"If there is one thing that is scary in remembering the Holocaust, it is noticing horrific processes which developed in Europe - particularly in Germany - 70, 80, and 90 years ago, and finding remnants of that here (in Israel) among us in the year 2016," he said in his Holocaust Day speech. 

Following the outrage, Golan clarified that he had not "intended to compare Israel to Nazi Germany".

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