Israeli military intelligence personnel have been kicked out, demoted or jailed after a non-operational venture into hostile West Bank territory to get tahini.
The internal disciplinary action was revealed this week by TV show ‘Uvda’ after showing how an undercover special agent in a secret IDF unit was sent to an unnamed Palestinian town to collect tahini for a commanding officer who had heard it was delicious.
The case led to an investigation by Maj. Gen. Tamir Heyman, who heads the IDF’s military intelligence wing. He recommended to IDF Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi that a lieutenant colonel be stripped of his rank and discharged, with measures also taken against two other officers, one of whom was jailed for 28 days.
Several Palestinian villages and towns deep in the West Bank are known for their tahini, none more so than Nablus, where there are frequent clashes.
Kochavi learned that on two occasions, an Arab undercover IDF officer was sent to a town – believed to be Nablus – to collect jars of its handmade tahini for senior officers for “non-operational reasons”. Kochavi agreed with Heyman, who said the actions were a blatant violation of the IDF’s code of conduct and professionalism.