IDF generals argue over Israeli-Canadian ‘deserter’

While soldiers watching, Chief military prosecutor Efroni tells army’s Personnel Directorate head Barbivai her decision to release ‘draft-dodger’ half way before the end of sentence sends ‘wrong message’

By Yoav Zitun


A heated argument erupted on Wednesday between IDF Military Advocate General Brigadier General Danny Efroni and IDF Personnel Directorate chief Maj. Gen. Orna Barbivai over the latter’s decision to grant clemency to Yana Gorelik, the 30-year old Canadian-Israeli who was imprisoned for allegedly dodging the IDF draft.

Yana Gorelik Photo: Moti Kimhi

Yana Gorelik – Photo: Moti Kimhi

The argument took place following the traditional basketball game between IDF generals and former Maccabi Tel Aviv players during Combat Fitness Day at the Wingate Institute.

“What kind of message are you sending?” Efroni told Barbivai in a harsh tone, despite the fact that several soldiers were standing nearby. “At the age of 18 people will go abroad to study, get their degree, and nothing?”

Barbivai replied: “I know that the message is wrong, but she did sit (in jail) for 45 days.”

Gorelik, a Canadian citizen, left Israel when she was 17, shortly after receiving her draft notice. She has visited Israel a number of times since them, but was arrested only two months ago at Ben-Gurion Airport after she entered Israel to attend a wedding. Authorities said she was detained for evading the draft for the past 13 years.

Gorelik was convicted of desertion and, after reaching a plea bargain, was sentenced to three months in prison and also received a suspended sentence. She was granted clemency after serving approximately half of her three-month sentence.


View original Ynet publication at:,7340,L-4293939,00.html