Benny Gantz
Photo: Avi Moalem

Gantz: Iran threat can be overcome with global alignment

IDF chief addresses Iranian threat in meeting with high-school students; stressed there is no exclusion of women

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz addressed prospects of an Israeli attack on Iran on Friday. Asked whether Israel is capable of such a strike and whether it should be done in cooperation with other countries, he said: "This challenge can be overcome with proper international and Israeli alignment."


Speaking to high-school students in Be'er Tuvia, he said, "Iran is working on a nuclear military program and that warrants concern. Israel is the only country in the world which is under a threat of annihilation by a country working to that end, but the threat is not only on Israel but the entire region and other parts of the world."


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Discussing the issue of IDF enlistment he said, "Army service is both a duty and a privilege. At a certain point a person must give back to the country. It is unacceptable that only half the people serve in the people's army."


Gantz noted he had met with Gilad Shalit three times in the past few weeks and remarked that the former captive soldier was making the right steps towards recovery. Gantz stated that the next time a soldier falls captive the army will give precedence to a military rescue mission.


He expressed concern over unrest in the Arab world. "Neighboring democracies never fought one another and that is why it is more likely that radical Islamist elements will move in where vacuums were created in the Middle East rather than democracies being established, and that is indeed a reason for concern."


"This is not an Arab Spring, but regional turmoil," he said. "The regional situation brings Israel back to 1967."


The IDF chief also addressed far-Right violence. "The 'price tag' phenomenon is criminal and bears resemblance to terror in its subversiveness. I condemn the fact that it targets the Palestinian population and IDF forces." He noted that the State needs to contain the phenomenon using the law enforcement units. "I don’t want us to turn into archaic South American regimes."


Referring to discrimination against women he said, "There is no exclusion of women in the IDF, period. It just does not exist." Gantz noted that the public discussion on women's exclusion in the IDF is more talk than facts.


He added, "The IDF as an organization is not aimed at promoting equality for women, though I am very much in favor of that, it is an operational organization. On Thursday five women completed flight academy training and seven more are likely to achieve the same in the next two years, not because they're women but because they're good. "





פרסום ראשון: 12.30.11, 13:33
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