Gabi Ashkenazi with Binyamin Netanyahu 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/POOL New)
The most recently retired IDF chief of staff, Lt.-Col (ret.) Gabi Ashkenazi, has
added his voice to the chorus of former defense officials saying that there was
no need for a military strike on Iran's nuclear program at this time.
video footage taken by a Makor Rishon journalist and aired on Channel 2 Thursday
evening, Ashkenazi told a lecture hall that "we're still not there," adding that
a metaphorical nuclear suitcase was not about to be sent in Israel's direction
Instead of a strike, Ashkenazi said, a "combination of
strategies" should be employed at this junction in time, listing a covert war
and economic sanctions coupled with diplomacy as some of the required
"These should be supported by a third strategy; and that is
keeping a military option that is realistic and credible," Ashkenazi
"That's what I think has to be done." The former chief of staff
said he hoped a combination of all the measures would be enough to get Iran to
suspend its nuclear program.
Turning his attention to the civil war
raging in Syria, Ashkenazi said the toppling of the Assad regime would "at the
end of the day improve our strategic situation... even if Assad is replaced by a
Sunni regime or government." Ashkenazi said that he did not believe Egypt would
turn into a violent Islamist regime hellbent on using force against Israel
"I don't think they can commit a serious act even if they
get there [the capabilities], he said.