Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, began his round of meetings with Israel’s top military and political leadership on Friday with a clear message – coordination and dialogue is the key to improving Israel’s security standing in the region.
“We have many interests in common in the region in this very dynamic time and the more we can continue to engage each other, the better off we'll all be,” Dempsey told IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and Defense Minister Ehud Barak at the beginning of their meeting at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv on Friday. Barak responded saying, "There is never a dull moment. That I can promise you".
Dempsey, the US’s most senior military officer, arrived in Israel late Thursday night for talks that are aimed at getting the IDF and the government to put the brakes on plans to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. The US is hoping that Israel will move attack plans to the back burner and give diplomacy and sanctions more time to have an effect on the Iranian regime.
After arriving in Israel, Dempsey and his wife Deanie met Gantz and his wife Revital for dinner near Tel Aviv. Before the dinner, Gantz surprised Dempsey with a performance by the IDF orchestra which played Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York”. Dempsey is a known Sinatra fan and often sings at various military ceremonies.