State Comptroller's recommendations for Knesset law
Recommendations include procedures for appointments of the IDF chief of staff.
State Comptroller Joseph Shapira Photo: Marc Israel Sellem
The following is a list of recommendations brought forward in the State
• The process for appointing the IDF chief of staff should
be clearly defined including specific criteria to evaluate candidates, such as
professional background, operational experience and other objective
• The defense minister, who appoints the IDF chief of staff, should
be obligated to consult with a specific set of advisers on the appointment,
including past defense ministers, the current IDF chief of staff, former IDF
chiefs of staff and the prime minister.
• The Knesset should pass a law
clearly deciding whether the term of the IDF chief of staff will always be
fixed, or whether there will always be a possibility for the term to be
• The new law should define whether the basis for any extension
can be broader and include “special circumstances,” meaning even as a reward for
high achievement, or more limited to “emergency situations” only, such as an
extension in the middle of an imminent security threat.
• The cabinet
should approve a set date for the process to select a new IDF chief of staff,
which the report says should start no earlier than four months before the end of
the term of the current IDF chief of staff (whereas Defense Minister Ehud Barak
made former IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi a “lame duck”
around 10 months before his term was due to end).
The report does not
directly make a recommendation on whether the defense minister must choose from
a list of candidates submitted to him by the IDF chief of staff (as had been
traditional until the most recent appointment process) or whether he can choose
from outside that list (as Barak wanted), a source of major fighting between
Ashkenazi and Barak. At the very least, the absence of a recommendation could
weaken the traditional way appointments have been made and strengthen the
defense minister’s discretion on the issue.