yair naveh 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Following the appointment of former OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Yair
Naveh to the post of IDF deputy chief of General Staff, some experts have asked
whether the army should be looking to former members – no matter how qualified –
who have left the military to fill senior positions.
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Naveh, who will take
over from Maj.-Gen. Benny Gantz in February 2011, reportedly accepted the
position on the condition that he be considered as a candidate for next IDF
chief of staff, after incoming chief of General Staff Yoav Galant retires from
the position in three years. He will be the most senior religious officer in the
“As an individual, he’s appropriate for the position,” Meir
Elran, former deputy director of Military Intelligence, told The Jerusalem Post
But Elran, who is a director of the Homeland Security Program
at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, added, “It is
unfortunate though, that the IDF can’t recruit from within, and has to take
people who have already left. One of the considerations behind this is the bad
blood between senior IDF officials.”
Before Naveh agreed to take the
position, OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot turned it down due to sour
relations with Galant, which were made worse by the recent so-called “Galant
OC Central Command Maj.- Gen. Avi Mizrahi also
informally rejected the idea that he become deputy chief of General Staff,
according to reports.
“Another problem is age,” Elran said. “Naveh is
53-year-old, and the IDF should have a target of recruiting younger officers, who
can maintain a higher state of vigilance,” he added.
But Maj.-Gen. (res.)
Ya’acov Amidror, former head of the IDF’s Research and Assessment Division, said
choosing a skilled former senior officer should not be considered a bad
“This isn’t exactly looking outside the military. The IDF can be a
very cruel system for officers who are at their peak and who have great skills,
but can’t continue onwards,” Amidror, who is also program director of the
Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs,
“If someone has to leave because he didn’t get on for some reason,
and the same person did not go into politics, then there is an advantage in
bringing them back and utilizing their experience that they gained outside of
the army,” Amidror said. “This shouldn’t be done all the time, but once in a
while, it’s a natural move, and it does not indicate a lack of qualified
personnel,” he said.
Naveh is currently CEO of the Citypass company,
which has been tasked with constructing Jerusalem’s Light Railway
Despite being religious, he is a despised figure among some
settler circles due to his overseeing the 2005 evacuation of settlements from
the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria.
He has been credited with keeping
terrorist attacks from the West Bank down to a minimum between 2005 and 2007.