'We need new criteria for selecting top officers'

Knesset soon to receive comptroller’s probe on senior IDF appointments.

Otniel Schneller 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Otniel Schneller 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
With tensions running high among Israel’s top generals, the Knesset Committee for Defense Oversight is expected to receive in the coming weeks a report by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstraus investigating how senior appointments are made in the IDF.
In advance of the report, and in light of the recent “Galant Affair” controversy involving the appointment of the next chief of General Staff, Committee Chairman MK Otniel Schneller (Kadima) called Thursday for the creation of clearer guidelines for such appointments before the next round of promotions.
The report is expected to reach Schneller’s closed-door committee in early September and will be submitted to the Knesset as a whole a short time later.
Schneller is a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, which is slated to meet in a closed-door session Sunday to discuss the Galant controversy with top IDF officials as well as with Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud).
Schneller said clear criteria should be established for determining worthy, qualified candidates for the military’s top post and promised that his secretive oversight committee would hold a hearing on the question of how top IDF appointments are made.
“Before the next round of appointments, we must determine clear and open criteria that will constitute mandatory conditions for the appointment of generals, chiefs of staff and their deputies. In my opinion, the role of chief of General Staff demands a person who has held at least three positions as a general – one of which should be that of deputy chief of General Staff,” Schneller said.
“Without relating to the current candidates, we should avoid appointing a chief of staff who served as the government’s military secretary while holding the rank of general.”
“After the comptroller’s report dealing with senior appointments is submitted to the Knesset, my committee will discuss its findings so that the committee’s conclusions can be put into practice during the next round of senior appointments,” Schneller concluded.