Photo: Motti Kimchi
Former IDF chief Mofaz
Photo: Motti Kimchi

Former IDF chief Mofaz: 'Bolton tried to convince me Israel should attack Iran'

During a panel of former IDF chiefs at Yedioth and Ynet's conference, Mofaz, Halutz, Gantz and Ya'alon agree nuclear deal with Tehran should not be canceled, diplomacy should be exhausted before using military force.

Former IDF chief Shaul Mofaz said Sunday that US President Donald Trump's new National Security Adviser John Bolton "tried to convince me that Israel should attack in Iran," while he was serving as Washington's ambassador to the UN.



"I don't think it's a smart act—not for the Americans today, and not for anyone, until this threat is realized," Mofaz said at a conference organized by Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth to celebrate 70 years of Israeli success.


Mofaz took part in a panel of former IDF chiefs at the conference, which also featured Moshe Ya'alon, Benny Gantz and Dan Halutz. All four said they were against canceling the Iranian nuclear deal.

Former IDF chiefs Mofaz and Ya'alon (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
Former IDF chiefs Mofaz and Ya'alon (Photo: Motti Kimchi)


"Iran aspires to have nuclear weapons, which it believes will provide it with strategic immunity. The world needs to ensure Iran won't get there," Gantz said.


"A country that wants to get nuclear weapons will eventually get nuclear weapons," Halutz warned.


According to Mofaz, "the Iranian threat is a significant threat to Israel's security. Iran is already on Israel's borders—in Syria and Lebanon. We cannot ensure a future for the children of Israel if Iran gets nuclear weapons."


Ya'alon explained that "the leaders of the region have realized their armies cannot defeat the IDF, and as a result went in two different directions—the one is terrorism, guerrilla fighting, rockets and missiles; the other is an unconventional threat, mostly nuclear."


He added that it's important to try to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions without using military force, noting however that "if there is no choice, we need to use force."


Former IDF chiefs Gantz, Halutz, Mofaz and Ya'alon (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
Former IDF chiefs Gantz, Halutz, Mofaz and Ya'alon (Photo: Motti Kimchi)


When asked if Israel is facing a war in the summer, Gantz said "I don't think there should be, but I think there might be."


Halutz believed an internal conflict is more likely. "There will definitely be a war between the Jews. With the Arabs, I don't know," he said.


Mofaz asserted there won't be a war in the summer. "I think all of our enemies know what the IDF's capabilities are," he said.


Ya'alon, the former minister of defense, argued that "the IDF and the political echelon's job is to postpone the next war as much as possible," saying they're successful in that at present.


All four were in favor of the integration of women in combat roles in the army. "Early on, I opened the door for women's service in all branches, all corps and all roles. There are a lot of jobs women can do better than men, including that of the defense minister," Mofaz asserted.


Halutz noted that "One of the State of Israel's biggest successes is the integration of women in military roles. I don't rule out—and I wish it would happen—for a woman to head the defense establishment."

Yishai Porat contributed to this story.



פרסום ראשון: 03.25.18, 11:57
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