(photo credit: IDF)
Col. Ronen Manelis was promoted to brigadier-general and took up the post of IDF Spokesperson, at a ceremony at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv on Thursday.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who approved the appointment made by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot in January, said that “if in the past the decision was always made on the battlefield, today it is also in the media. The battle for one’s consciousness is no less important than the one on the battlefield. In order to explain our position in Israel and around the world, the battle for consciousness is very important.”
Manelis said, “The combination of daily changes in the world of communications and the unique characteristics of the modern battlefield require us, as part of the IDF’s preparations for war, to prepare for this aspect as well.”
Acknowledging the “legitimate criticism” of the military by the media, Manelis said that the IDF should learn from it in order to become a better army that must “act to strengthen and preserve the public’s trust.”
“However, we must always face the realization that the IDF is an army of the people, the army of all of us. I will do everything in my power, together with the entire staff of the Spokesperson’s Office, to fulfill the tasks and meet the challenges,” he said.
Manelis was assistant to the chief of staff for the past two years and is replacing Maj.-Gen. Moti Almoz. Almoz served as IDF Spokesperson for the past three and a half years, and since January also as head of the Manpower Directorate. He will continue in the latter role. He was born in Jerusalem in 1979, and grew up in Beit Shemesh.
Eisenkot described Manelis as his “right-hand man” whose extraordinary qualities were apparent as a young captain in the Samaria Brigade.
Lt.-Col. Peter Lerner, the head of the foreign press branch in the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, will be replaced by Maj. Jonathan Conricus. Lerner, who served in the IDF for 25 years including four years as a spokesman and head of the Foreign Press and Social Media Branch of the Spokesperson’s Unit, will retire from active service on Sunday.
Conricus was the first Israeli to hold a position at the United Nation’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations in Manhattan.