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Opinion In the face of a political echelon that tries to tear away powers from the IDF, the incoming Chief of Staff Halevi will not cut corners and will not bend | Israel today


Halevi's opening conditions are more complex than ever • From the never-ending race against the Iranian threat to the disintegration of the Palestinian Authority • But precisely from home a major challenge awaits him: the political crisis is knocking on the doors of the IDF

Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi received a nice gift today (Sunday) on the occasion of the end of his post: the increase in public trust in the IDF, as reflected in the annual index published by the Israel Democracy Institute.

This figure is important for three reasons.

First, because this is a change in trend, after the drop in confidence last year.

Second, because the IDF still enjoys a unique status in Israeli society, which is reflected in a much higher public trust than any other governmental or public institution. And third, because there was a fear that the deepening political polarization would also affect the IDF, certainly against the background of public criticism of a variety of matters related to the army - From the entry of generals into politics to the budgetary pensions.

The outgoing Chief of Staff Kochavi received a nice gift on the occasion of the end of his post, photo: Gideon Markovich

But alongside this good news there is also bad news, which will be placed on the desk of the 23rd Chief of Staff, Hertzi Halevi. The main thing (if we rely on the public atmosphere of the last few weeks): what we have seen so far was not even a preview of what is expected of Halevi - from attempts of ministers to tear away powers from the IDF, such as removing the rabbinate and the civil administration from the responsibility of the security system, through attempts to influence operational matters such as the instructions to open fire and the integration of women in the army, to attempts to influence values ​​issues, primarily the closing of the IDF to certain parties and even demands to change the code Army ethics.

A complicated role

The position of the Chief of Staff is inherently one of the most complicated in Israel, second in importance only to the Prime Minister. But it seems that since the era of the great wars ended, the Chief of Staff has not entered under such complex opening conditions as Halevi.

Part of this stems from the battlefields, the main and central of which is Iran.

In view of the nuclear project, Halevi will be required to complete his preparations for a possible Israeli attack.

At the same time, the war between the wars in the northern arena will continue, with the goal being to reduce as much as possible the strengthening of Hezbollah and the Shiite militias in Syria, as well as to curb the Iranian effort to spread armaments and terrorism in the region and throughout the world.

Gallant and Netanyahu.

The position of the Chief of Staff is second in importance only to the Prime Minister, photo: Amos Ben Gershom/Leam

Finance Minister Smotrich.

Received responsibility for the civil administration from the responsibility of the security system, photo: Oren Ben Hakon

As of today, Israel has the upper hand in the battle against Iran, but it is a never-ending race, with many and changing faces, in which cyber becomes a major player than before, which requires constant polishing to make sure it remains so in the future.

In the other arenas, the Levy will be required to mainly maintain stability, and his success will be in the absence of escalation and war.

This is of course true in the northern arena against Hezbollah, but also in Gaza and especially in Judea and Samaria.

This arena will close next month a year of terror whose end is not in sight, with the month of Ramadan as explosive as ever.

There is a high probability of the end of Abu Mazen's rule and succession struggles, which could threaten the stability of the Palestinian Authority and tear it apart from within.

This development may directly and indirectly threaten the security situation in Israel.

Halevi is well aware of all these challenges.

He commanded a brigade in Yosh, a division on the Lebanese border and the Southern Command (and was also the head of AMN).

He intends to introduce changes in the operational plans and deepen the investment in the ground army, in order to improve the IDF's readiness for the campaign, and even earlier - to deter it.

at home inside

But Halevi also knows that the main challenge is not expected of him against enemies, but rather against lovers: at home inside.

As mentioned, the political-social crisis is knocking on the doors of the army.

Its potential meanings are far-reaching: from a decrease in the rate of recruits and the motivation to serve in the army, to the increasing difficulty of signing outstanding officers for permanent service (among other things, because of service conditions that do not match the current employment situation in the economy).

The President of Iran, Raisi, at one of the country's nuclear facilities (archive).

Israel has the upper hand in the campaign, photo: AFP

Exercising in Yosh. Halevi with experience in cutting, photo: Reuters

To all of these we can add the attempt of certain politicians to clash with the IDF and its commanders and turn them from commanders into officials - a dangerous phenomenon that Levi will be required to curb, along with curbing populist proposals such as granting soldiers complete immunity from investigation and prosecution.

Halevi is not known as a vegetarian.

He will indeed choose his battles, but he will not cut corners or bend, certainly not in matters of command and values.

It is likely that evidence of this will be given in the words he will say already upon taking office.

This promises him (and us) a stormy period, but we are all advised to remember: Israel has one army, and one Chief of Staff, and the price of eroding public support and trust in them may be heavy.

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Source: israelhayom

All news articles on 2023-01-15

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