Gabi Ashkenazi at Herzliya Conference 311.
(photo credit: Uri Porat)
Outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi said on Monday he hopes the
turmoil in Egypt will settle down and the nearly three-decade peace treaty won’t
be in jeopardy.
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“Peace with Egypt is a strategic asset for the State of
Israel, and I hope that there will be stability there, but it’s hard to
Ashkenazi also spoke of the way new Internet communications
platforms were having in affecting change.
“In regards to the regimes
that surround us, we see a fascinating phenomenon where more than a little of
the power is shifting hands to the public. This is largely because of the social
networking services, Twitter, Facebook, SMS messages. It is possible to see
revolutionary waves taking place and in regards to the future we ask ourselves,
are we seeing a domino effect?” he said.
Ashkenazi’s comments came during
a speech on the second day of the 11th annual Herzliya Conference, Israel’s
leading policy conference.
The conference is being held at the campus of
the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya and will run through
Referring to the Arab leadership in the region, the army chief
said, “There is a weakening of the moderate camp and the traditional Arab
leadership is in a type of decay.”
“In the developing reality that
surrounds us it is possible to see opportunities, and more than a few
“It [the new reality] presents a big security challenge for the
IDF,” Ashkenazi added.
“It’s impossible to ignore the fact that the
radical camp is strengthening.”
Ashkenazi also discussed the paramount
importance of ground warfare capabilities, saying “I wish we could solve
everything just with fire, but we also need land force maneuvers that will
enable us to achieve effective attacks.
When I speak to soldiers, I tell
them, “An F-16 isn’t enough, you also need an M-16.”