Monday, October 6, 2008

US Army Drill Sergeant Calls Observent Jew "Juden," Prohibits Him From Praying, Forces Him To Remove Kippah, but Army Says It's Not Discrimination???


Yeah, of course it isn't discrimination!

It is . . . uh . . . a "lack of training" or a "misunderstanding," or . . . uh . . . anti-semitism? Nah.

How about "anti-Israeli" . . . yeah, that's sounds good. . . or just . . . uh . . . "pro-American."

Yeah, yeah. That sounds good.

Of course it is not anti-semitism. Of course not.


Of course.


Jewish Soldier Charges US Army with Discrimination
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

( An observant Jewish soldier in the United States Army was hospitalized for a concussion suffered in a fight with another trainee several days after two drill sergeants forced him to take off his kippa [skullcap] and prohibited him from praying. One of the sergeants also called the soldier "Juden," but the Army denied the incidents were related to anti-Semitism.

The case of the soldier, 20-year-old Private Michael Handman, reached a Congressman after he complained of religious discrimination. The army said that an altercation with another trainee several days later that sent Handman to the hospital was unrelated to the treatment by the sergeants at the United States Army training base at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Base officers have launched a criminal investigation against the trainee who beat up Handman, and the drill sergeants were reprimanded.

The Army ruled the sergeants, including one who had served in Germany, were not guilty of anti-Semitism and simply did not know "what is allowed for religious accommodation within basic training."

The sergeants will receive instruction on religious accommodation.

Monica Manganaro, spokeswoman for the base, said that the fight with the other trainee had no religious basis. She explained that the drill sergeants "would have put a stop to it immediately" if the dispute between the trainees had been based on religious prejudice.

Army policy allows Jewish soldiers to wear a kippa in the dining hall but does not allow them to pray while on guard duty.

Concerning the term Juden, Manganaro explained that the "drill sergeant has lived in Germany and did not know that it is derogatory."

Retired Navy captain Neil Block told reporters, "These drill sergeants had not set out to be anti-Semitic or discriminatory. They just screwed up, and the Army has dealt with it appropriately."

Oh really? Then why is this next story so different? This is a story of what the soldier went through in the days before he was attacked . . . it sounds like the army is sugar coating this whole thing now that it is in the courts. You be the judge . . .

Jewish US Soldier Brutally Assaulted By Anti-Semite Soldiers

us soldier.jpgA U.S. Army soldier was brutally beaten by other soldiers in his platoon earlier this month following two incidents in which a drill sergeants allegedly used anti-Semitic slurs to address the soldier.

Pvt. Michael Handman, 20, who has just completed his fifth week of basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia, was recently released from a hospital where he was treated for a concussion, facial wounds, and severe oral injuries following the attack, according to the boy’s father, Jonathan Handman.

The soldier’s father said he received a disturbing telephone call last week from his son’s commanding officer “to tell me that my son is OK and out of the hospital.”

Jonathan Handman said his son was lured into a laundry room at the Fort Benning Army base by other soldiers, knocked unconscious and beaten while he lay on the ground.

Michael Handman enlisted in the Army earlier this year. He wears a yarmulke with his uniform, which apparently led his drill sergeants to refer to him as a “kike”, various anti-Semitic slurs, and a demand that he remove the yarmulke during dinner, according to his father. The soldier recently wrote a letter to his mother Randi recounting the anti-Semitism he has endured by his drill sergeants and members of his platoon since arriving for basic training at Fort Benning.

“I have just never been so discriminated against/humiliated about my religion,” Michael Handman wrote his mother. “I just feel like I’m always looking over my shoulder. Like my battle buddy heard some of the guys in my platoon talking about how they wanted to beat the daylights out of me tonight when I’m sleeping. And the only justification they have is [because] I’m Jewish. Maybe your dad was right…..The Army is not the place for a Jew.”

A Fort Benning public affairs representative would not comment on the incidents saying the attack and the anti-Semitism are under investigation. Michael Handman’s father said in an interview he fears for his son’s safety and is worried that his son may continue to endure additional beat downs and taunts about his faith by drill sergeants.

“I’m scared he will become a victim of friendly fire.” Jonathan Handman said. “The Army is not doing enough to protect him. They have mentally broken him to the point that he is willing to ruin his life by getting a dishonorable discharge.”

After he was released from the hospital, Pvt. Handman was sent back to the same platoon to face the soldiers who attacked him. He was then moved to a different company within the same platoon. But Jonathan Handman said his son told him the anti-Semitism has continued, according to a conversation he had with his son.

A week ago Jonathan Handman took action and began a fierce letter writing campaign in an effort to get his son some help. He reached out to his state’s U.S. senator, Saxby Chambliss, the Republican of Georgia. Chambliss immediately contacted the Pentagon to investigate and, surprisingly, the Department of Defense sent Chambliss a detailed letter last week confirming that Pvt. Handman was the victim of anti-Semitism.

“Based on [Private] Handman’s statement and the seriousness of the allegations, the command immediately initiated a commander’s inquiry,” stated a Sept. 26 letter sent to Chambliss by Samuel Selby Rollinson, the Department of the Army’s Deputy Chief of Staff. “Based on the inquiry, the Army found that two [non-commissioned officers] inadvertently violated the Army Regulation concerning the free exercise of religion by requiring the Soldier to remove his yarmulke and by using inappropriate terms when referencing the Jewish faith.

“While the actions of the NCO’s were not meant to be malicious, and were done out of ignorance for regulations and cultural awareness, this does not excuse their conduct. The command intends to reprimand both NCO’s for their conduct; require them to present formal blocks of instruction on what religious are authorized for wear; and finally, the battalion chaplain will instruct all cadre members on the Army policy concerning religious accommodation.”

The investigation by the Pentagon was limited to the anti-Semitism and did not include an inquiry into the beating.

Prior to receiving a copy of the letter from Chambliss, the elder Handman contacted Mikey Weinstein, the president and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), a nonprofit government watchdog group that aims to keep a close eye on the military to ensure its adherence to the law mandating the separation between church and state. Weinstein spent a decade working as a U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate (JAG), was formerly legal counsel in the Reagan White House and was General Counsel to Texas billionaire and two-time Presidential candidate H. Ross Perot.

This is not the first incident of anti-Semitism that Weinstein’s organization has exposed that has resulted in the Army running for cover.

Weinstein and MRFF exposed a pattern of anti-Semitic Biblical teachings by chaplains at Fort Leavenworth. He also signed on to help defend former Army Chaplain, Rabbi Jeffrey Goldman, a Toronto native, who was taunted by senior military officers at a prayer breakfast one morning in May 2001 as his chaplain colleagues had placed Nazi uniforms and swastikas on the wall of the officers’ club at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Handman and his wife, Randi, continue to worry about their son’s well being.


  1. I served in the US Army and in basic one of the drills was Polish and very friendly. No one messed with me and I think that this may be a combo of a jerk sgt. and someone with a chip on his shoulder . Also, if any drill in this p.c. Army today acts like this its off to Watermelon U for him to get retrained. MY own drill was a big old redneck from NC who didn't care how I prayed to God, just could I shoot straight. The company XO was a Black Muslim and my buddy was a Turk. Maybe I just look tough or I handled myslef in a way that kept bigots at bay, I don't know, but often I find that in the military ones attitude has a lot to do with his treatment by others. There are a bunch of JAG lawyers ready to jump on anyone who breaks the rules. You show them something halfway reasonable and they run nuts on people who break the rules and abuse trainees. I went on to serve under a Jewish General, so there is a place in the US Army for Jewish Americans.

  2. they are sweeping it under the rug. Slaps on the wrist. Go to MRFF link to read all the truth.
    The Dad

  3. I was one of two witnesses that watched him get into the fight and I also stopped it from going further. Half if not most of this information is misleading and incorrect. Nobody dragged or told him to go into the laundry room. He went in there to get his laundry and another private came in behind him and shut the door. This same private had a very bad temper problem and had problems in the past, but not with fighting. He came up behind Private Handman and punched him in the back of the head. He stumbled a bit and faced his attacker just as he was hit again. He wasn't completely beaten to the ground or anything or hit after he was on the floor. There was maybe a total of 5-6 punches thrown and after he fell and was on the floor another private and myself rushed in and broke it up. He clearly was not knocked out because his eyes were still open he was looking around and he was mumbling. The other private walked away and I ran off and got the DS that was on CQ that night. We called the MP's and EMT's. Me and the other private along with your company C.O. and DS went off with the MP's to do a sworn statement. I wrote down everything I saw and knew about the whole thing and I swore a oath on every part of it. He was not beaten because of his religion at all! That is the dumbest thing that all 220 people in the company ever heard. The DS's did not single him out by any means. Yes one of them called him Juden but did not mean anything harmful about it. He was beaten up because he was constantly doing the wrong thing at the wrong time and getting our free time taken away or getting us "smoked" which is A lot of push ups and sit ups and so on. He was on his second time around for boot camp and you would think he would have done his part and done well. But he didn't and instead he was getting our platoon in trouble. I was the person who woke him up on my fireguard shift to warn him about what the platoon planned to do to him that night. And I stayed up for hours to make sure nothing happened to him while he was sleeping. I don't believe he is a bad person I just don't think he belongs in the military at all and should probably not try to re-enlist. He was not beaten because of his Religion! I have sworn statements on all of this. I will answer any questions to clear this mess up as best as I can. My email is or


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