Photo: AFP
IDF soldiers leave Lebanon
Photo: AFP

Rehabilitating the IDF

IDF failures in Second Lebanon War stem from West Bank occupation

A few days ago, the IDF chief of staff appeared before the political-security cabinet, reviewed the inquiries into and lessons of the Second Lebanon War, and said that the army's rehabilitation will take a long time.


The question that has been bugging us since then is as follows: What rehabilitation is he talking about? Did something happened and we were not told about it? Were half the Air Force's planes destroyed? Were 17 bases razed? Were 12 ships sunk? Did the IDF experience what happened to the Egyptian military in the Six-Day War? As far as we know, the IDF did not collapse and was not destroyed, so what rehabilitation is the army chief talking about?


Let's not play innocent. Just like the army chief, the citizens of Israel know that the IDF requires rehabilitation, but they know this rehabilitation has no connection to the results of the war in Lebanon, but rather, to the results of the Six-Day War.


As a result of the foolishness of our leaders and the determination of right-wing activists, the IDF turned from a fighting force to a garrison force, and its fighters were forced to undergo career retraining to police work and thuggary. We paid the price in the last war too, and we shall continue to pay in the future, and not only in matters of defense and security.


The military topics of inquiry, according to the report, were as follows: Utilization of force, the relationship between the general staff and commanders, the relationship between commanders and divisions, the language of orders, the commander's place, and fighting force doctrine.


Hebron stories

This is nice, and even sounds very rehabilitative, but in the very same day, several other reports were published: One news story told of an IDF base in Hebron where settlers having been residing for 16 years now. The IDF said in response that those are temporary residents and that their presence is commensurate with the army's objectives and needs.


Another news story told of a settler takeover of a Hebron house. The settlers claim they purchased the house, while the Palestinian owner claims the house belongs to him. And what about the IDF? The army secured the takeover, and the Defense Ministry said the matter will be looked into. Readers will be glad to know that the IDF is still securing, and the Defense Ministry is still looking into the matter.


A third item told of an elderly Palestinian woman who was assaulted by an IDF dog. Those who wanted to enjoy this story to an even greater extent were able to watch it on television. By the way, this did not elicit any meaningful response from the political leadership. We did not only lose our military capabilities in Judea and Samaria, but also our ability to be shaken up.


Yet another news story had to do with Yair Naveh, the Central Command chief, who is in charge of the area where the above-mentioned incidents took place. As it turns out, Major General Naveh is being escorted by two bodyguards from the IDF's VIP security unit because of settler threats. They even accompany him to the synagogue, while sappers check his car.


It's a good thing that in the last war Major General Naveh did not command any divisions in Lebanon. The bodyguards who protect him from the settlers could have obstructed his view of the plasma screens at key moments.


We can be comforted by the fact that the army continued to rehabilitate this week too. Instead of training, IDF fighters were busy securing right-wing protesters in the evacuated settlement of Homesh. The police took this opportunity to also rehabilitate. Instead of catching thieves, police officers were busy evacuating the same protesters protected by the IDF earlier.


There is no doubt that the Lebanon war inquiries are very important, but in order to rehabilitate the IDF we need something fundamental and different. We can start with the chief of staff not fearing to speak openly, and possibly acting accordingly.


פרסום ראשון: 03.30.07, 14:26
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