A commander of an IDF military division fighting in the Second Lebanon War resigned Thursday night, saying he had failed to perform his duty.
"I have failed, and I resign," Brigadier General Erez Zuckerman told IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and asked to terminate his position and be released from the army one year early.
Ashkenazi asked Zuckerman to reconsider his resignation, but the commander insisted that he must take responsibility for his division's failures in the war, and said that his decision was final.
"Toward the end of the war I felt that I had failed in my duty and decided to take personal responsibility... I told this to my commanders and subordinates every chance I got," Zuckerman said.
The commander then explained why he waited this long to resign: "I realized that immediate resignation would be like shirking responsibility, in light of the burning need to retrain the division and its units. Now, after a year of efforts to learn the right lessons and reconstruct, I feel that the division is ready for any mission."
During the war, Zuckerman was given command over an armored division, however, his lack of training led to many failures.
Seven days before the war came to its end, Zuckerman's division was recruited to aid in a military offensive in the eastern sector.
Investigations showed that the division did not perform as expected, and in one occasion a reserves regiment commander refused to enter Lebanon and asked to be replaced.
Since the war, Zuckerman has been deeply frustrated, his friends said, because this was the first time in his career that he let his men down.