An unusual act of self-criticism of Israeli society - during a Holocaust memorial speech by Israeli Deputy Chief of Military Staff Yair Golan, no less - has put the official in the eye of a political storm.
"If there is something that frightens me about the memory of the Holocaust, it's identifying sickening processes that occurred in Europe in general and in Germany specifically, then 70, 80 and 90 years ago - and to find evidence of this here, amongst us, today, in 2016," he told a ceremony north of Tel Aviv late Wednesday.
The Holocaust, Golan said, "must make us reflect deeply" about Israel's leadership and society and "how we, here and now, treat our elderly, orphans and widows, and those who look like them.
"There is nothing easier and simpler than to hate the stranger.
"On Holocaust Day it is worthy to discuss our ability to uproot from amongst us buds of intolerance, buds of violence, buds of self-destruction and the road to moral deterioration."
If the Jewish Day of Atonement was a day for private soul-searching, then "it is desired and even necessary that Holocaust Day will be a day of national soul-searching.
"We believe very strongly in the justness of our path, but not everything we do is just."
The major general then called on soldiers to use their weapons with the utmost responsibility and "purity."
Israel has often come under international criticism for perceived heavy-handed behaviour while trying to suppress Palestinians, which has led to many civilian deaths. Israel responds that its troops must use necessary force to fight back against them.
Golan's comments prompted a stream of outraged reactions, with Education Minister Naftali Bennett of the pro-settler Jewish Home party calling for a retraction.
"Before Holocaust deniers use his false words to raise their flag. Before our soldiers will be compared, heaven forbid, to Nazis with approval from above. The deputy chief of staff has erred. And he must fix this immediately," Bennett tweeted.
The Israeli military spokesperson's office later issued a clarification on Golan's behalf, stressing that the deputy chief of staff had not meant to draw any comparison between the Israeli army and state, and the processes that occurred in Germany during World War II.
Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon also issued a statement Thursday, expressing his "full trust" in the deputy chief of staff and calling the interpretation of his remarks "distorted."
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