Ben-Gvir's command of Border Police endangers Israel - former IDF commanders

The Movement of Commanders for the Security of Israel held a conference on Wednesday to discuss Israel's security.

 Matan Vilnai speaks at the Movement of Commanders for the Security of Israel conference on Wednesday. (photo credit: COMMANDERS FOR THE SECURITY OF ISRAEL)
Matan Vilnai speaks at the Movement of Commanders for the Security of Israel conference on Wednesday.
(photo credit: COMMANDERS FOR THE SECURITY OF ISRAEL)

Movement of Commanders for the Security of Israel Chairman Matan Vilnai heavily criticized the government on Wednesday at a conference in Herzliya.

Vilani expressed concerns and dissatisfaction with the way the government is treating Israel's security saying that while the government was undeniably chosen legally and democratically, Israel's security "is a pawn in a political game, and there's nothing worse than that."

"When we were in the army, there was one defense minister and one only, and now there's a national security minister who is ignorant about defense matters."

He also warned that giving National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir command of the Border Police could be  dangerous.

"I was the commander of the South Command in the First Intifada - every week there was at least one funeral. Every Thursday, a command briefing for everyone above the company commander from the police, Shin Bet, and army. They [would] analyze all the mess-ups and learn for the next week. There was never a company commander who got up and said 'there's a minister who's saying something else.'

 NATIONAL SECURITY Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir arrives for a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem on Sunday (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90) NATIONAL SECURITY Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir arrives for a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem on Sunday (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

"There's no such thing as disunity in command - there's no such thing as two commanders of a unit. It's an opening for total chaos and there's no way it will work."

Amos Gilad agreed with Vilnai that giving Ben-Gvir command of the Border Police is dangerous.

"We breaking everything apart, including ourselves," he said. "One minister controls the Border Police, another minister is in charge of the civil administration - it's like a chair with its legs being removed.

"The burden on the IDF will only grow. We're getting close to a situation like the First Intifada."

Amos Gilad

Vilani criticizes judicial reforms

Vilnai also spoke out against the proposed judicial reforms put forth by the government.

"I saw the governments of [Ehud] Barak, [Ariel] Sharon, [Benjamin] Netanyahu] and [Ehud] Olmert, and there was no one ever talked about reforming the justice system. They talked about firefighting reforms and public housing, but suddenly judicial reforms are the thing."

Gilad also spoke at the conference about the judicial reforms. 

"Until now, the prestige of the High Court of Justice saved us," he said. "Without it, we lost a security defense wall."

Israel needs the US for any action against Iran

Asked about Iran, Gilad said that Israel cannot take action against Iran without help from the US. He also said that the Arab nations' cooperation is essential.

"We have a historical chance to exert all our power in Iran, and we're weakening our abilities if we put cooperation with the Arabs at risk," he said. "Iran has missiles, rockets, drones, cruise missiles, and satellite launch missiles. If we become an isolated country, we will a pay heavy price."