Canada is learning from Israel how to combat terrorism and safeguard its troops who are serving in Afghanistan, the Canadian Armed Forces Chief of the Defense Staff, General Walter J. Natynczyk, told the IDF military journal Bamahane ("In the Camp") this week.
"I'm not sure if the Israeli standpoint is that much different than the Canadian standpoint, having had the experience in Afghanistan," Natynczyk said, after completing his three-day military tour of Israel.
"We have really come to understand and appreciate what the Israeli forces have had to counter for quite some time and the techniques, the way and the procedures that the Israeli military has adopted and evolved over the past few decades," the general said. "We're learning what we can adopt from Israeli forces that will enable us to reduce risks to our people," he added.
Asked to comment on the controversial Goldstone Report which has accused the IDF of war crimes during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza at the start of 2009, the Canadian general said, "I've got to look through the whole report and read it through myself. But I fully understand how when someone is attacked from houses, family houses, and so on, that there is a responsibility to protect oneself and protect civilians."
"I want to have a look at the report myself and understand the full context," he added.
Gen. Natynczyk arrived in Israel on Sunday as guest of the IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi. During the three days, Gen. Natynczyk held meetings with Ashkenazi, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and toured various military bases around the country.