Israel’s “unorthodox” training institute is facing legal challenges after it was criticised by human rights groups for its practices, including its use of captive-bred horses and captive-breeding.
The Israel Training Institute, founded by the founder of the organisation, Israel’s first-ever government-run training institute for young people, has been criticised by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for using captive-born animals in its work.
Its founder and CEO, Shlomo Avidan, said in an interview with The Jerusalem Times that the institute had been run by “people who have a very strong religious and moral stance”, adding: “The way I look at it, we are doing it for religious reasons, but the fact is, we do it because it’s necessary.”
He said the institute was run by a “youngish” team of people who had been trained by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and that their work was “unusual and not what we should expect from a government-sponsored training institute”.
But Avidan told Israel’s Channel 10 TV that the use of the animals was necessary because the IDF was “in a war zone”.
“We are training people in the IDF and there are a lot of young people who want to join the army,” Avidan said.
“We are providing training to people who are very brave and want to go into the IDF.”
In an interview in 2015, the institute’s former director, Yoav Leibovich, said the animals had “the potential to be very useful”.
“It’s not just for training,” he said.
“It can also be used to study human behaviour, it can also provide the animal with an environment where the animal can interact with people and with other animals, as well as other people.”
The animal has the potential to give us an advantage.
We have an advantage with animals in the world.
The animals we use have the potential of giving us an edge.
“A spokesman for the Israel Defence Forces said that the “inhumane and unsanitary” way the animals were used was not permitted.”
We do not employ animals in a manner that is considered cruel or inhumane by any standards.
However, he said the institution had recently been involved in a number of controversial practices.””
The institute was never in a position to adopt any animals, and does not have a contract with anyone to have them.”
However, he said the institution had recently been involved in a number of controversial practices.
“There are a number issues that have been raised with the institute in the past.
The institute was in the process of revamping its operations in 2018, and there were issues with animal welfare.
There was also a recent report that an employee of the institute, Dr Yuval Shlomi, had allegedly engaged in animal cruelty,” he added.”
This was due to a series of incidents, including the use by him of dogs and cats in his work.”
According to the institute ethics board, there are strict protocols in place to ensure the welfare of animals and they were found to have broken them.
“As a result, Dr Shloma was suspended, while the ethics board reviewed the matter and determined that the incident did not violate any of the rules.”‘
The Israeli government is using captive animals as soldiers’The institute has been under investigation since last year, when Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa researcher, Dr Ali Gharib, visited the institute and published a report on the institute.
In the report, he noted that the animals used in the institute were “fodder for Israeli military use, with some used for the development of the army’s military training”.
“The Israeli authorities appear to have adopted a policy of using captive animal breeding for military purposes in an unprincipled manner,” Ghari said in a statement at the time.
“While this practice is not new, the authorities are now attempting to use it as a weapon of political repression.”
In 2015, Amnesty International criticised the institute for using horses as “faux soldiers”, saying that the animal was “failing to live up to its name”.
“They are used to being used as cannon fodder, and then to be turned into dogs and used as cattle for training exercises,” the report said.