IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz warned MKs against cutting the defense budget too much in his final meeting with the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday.
“There is a threshold of necessity for security investments that must be made so there is enough at any time,” Gantz explained. “We have to ensure that the IDF will be strong as a fighting army and invest something for the future challenges of tomorrow.”
Gantz, who will be replaced by Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot in February after his fouryear term ends, expressed confidence that his successor knows how to deal with future challenges.
“I believe the IDF’s values will not change, and that is a blessing, and we will know how to change in other ways, and that is a blessing too,” he said. “If we find the balance between what to preserve and what to change, we will be successful.”
Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) thanked Gantz in the name of the panel for his work during difficult times.
Elkin added that he is sure whoever replaces him as chairman will make sure the IDF is prepared to fulfill all of its missions.
“You represent the establishment with the best people in Israel society,” he said.
“Our job, to some extent, is to let you do what you know how to do. This isn’t a joke or a game. When we don’t take this issue seriously, we pay a high price.”
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said Gantz was a professional, determined chief of staff who knew how to connect with the public.
“You deserve to rest after all of these years,” Edelstein said, “but I have no doubt you will continue to contribute to the nation and the country.”