Israel navy head in hot water after strip club visit

March 4th, 2009 - 9:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Tel Aviv, March 4 (DPA) Israeli legislators Wednesday demanded that military chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi fire Israel Navy head Eliezer Marom, who finds himself in hot water after visiting a Tel Aviv strip club earlier this week.
Lieutenant-General Ashkenazi has already reprimanded Rear-Admiral Marom, who apologised for the visit and admitted that it “did not accord with what is expected of an officer of his rank”, Israeli media reported.

Newly-elected lawmaker Nahman Shai insisted however that Ashkenazi fire Marom for humiliating women and failing to set a personal example.

The Yediot Ahronot daily had reported Tuesday that Marom, smoking a cigar, drinking alcohol and surrounded by bare-chested women, had been spotted at a strip club in Tel Aviv’s seedy Allenby Street Monday night.

The admiral said initially that he had only stayed for a short while at the club, after entering to say hello to a friend.

But the Ha’aretz daily quoted a witness as saying Marom came to the club by himself, in mufti (ordinary clothes), and stayed for about half an hour.

Marom, 53, was appointed to command the navy in August 2007. According to Ha’aretz, although his seamanship and operational abilities are beyond dispute, “some question his character”.

The daily quoted employees of the strip club as saying that the visit was not Marom’s first.

“He is a familiar face here. We thought he was a Chinese worker because he didn’t come in uniform, and we didn’t know he had a connection to the army,” one said.

Marom has a Chinese grandfather.

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