Photo: Eli Elgarat
Major-General Gantz
Photo: Eli Elgarat
Barak and Ashkenazi. Long debate
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Major-General Benny Gantz named deputy IDF chief

Following long debate, Defense Minister Barak, IDF Chief of Staff Ashkenazi decide to appoint Israel's military attaché in Washington as deputy army chief

Major-General Benny Gantz will be the Israeli army's next deputy chief of staff, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi decided Friday morning following discussions which lasted several weeks.


Gantz, who currently serves as the IDF's military attaché in Washington, was the candidate with the smallest chances of being appointed. While Barak supported Southern Command Chief Yoav Galant, Ashenazi was in favor of appointing Northern Command Chief Gafi Eisenkot.


The decision to appoint Gantz was a compromise between the two officials. At this stage it is unclear how Galant will react, after implying that he may retire from the IDF if he is not promoted. He has been offered the option of remaining in his position as the Central Command chief or be appointed commander of the Israeli Ground Forces. Eisenkot has been offered to continue as the Central Command chief, and he will remain in the IDF. 


'A stain on the IDF's reputation'

Over the past few weeks, many officers have expressed their discontent over the process in which the discussion was held – both in terms of the dispute between the defense minister and chief of staff, and in terms of the fact that the delay in appointing a deputy IDF chief led to a delay in other General Staff appointments.


Many of the officers have said that appointing Gantz as a compromise between Barak and Ashkenazi would be a stain on the IDF's reputation, as Gantz was not favored by the two senior officials.


According to one of the officers, Gantz's appointment would serve as a problem in the future, as it would be difficult to appoint for the role of chief of staff an officer who was only the third choice for deputy IDF chief.


Gantz will take office in a few months instead of Major-General Dan Harel. His replacement as the military attaché in the US will be decided on soon.


פרסום ראשון: 07.10.09, 14:17
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