Newly-appointed Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has recently met with several reserve major generals, sending the soothing message to the IDF leadership that he will be a stately, responsible minister.
Security officials, however, are waiting to see if he will indeed keep his promises and are saying "time will tell". Lieberman, who will take office next Tuesday, needs to quickly put together a professional team and appoint an office chief of staff and a spokesperson.
Next week, after he officially takes on the position, he will begin a series of meetings with senior IDF members, among them the chief of staff, senior generals and the new Director General of the Defense Ministry Maj. Gen. (res.) Udi Adam, who replaced Maj. Gen. (res.) Dan Harel last Thursday.
Most of those who met with Lieberman told him that Adam was the right man for the job and that the new minister would do well to keep him in the role, and not make a personal or politically-motivated appointment..
Adam, 58, returned to the security establishment ten years after the Second Lebanon War, after which he resigned as head of the Israeli Northern Command. The short ceremony held at the Tel Aviv IDF headquarters took place for the first time without the presence of a defense minister—a position which will be left unmanned until Lieberman takes on the position next week.
Among those present at the ceremony there was a sense of disappointment as many wondered why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is the acting defense minister, did not come to greet Adam and bid farewell to Harel.
During the ceremony, Adam acknowledged Harel's great contribution to Israel's security and promised, "we will take up the baton and get the job done in the most professional manner possible, our main mission being to support the IDF's needs."