Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan
IDF backs chief of staff candidate after Lieberman urged not to appoint him
Day after Channel 2 reports that families of fallen soldiers wrote to defense minister insisting that Maj. Gen. Yair Golan was not fit for the role due to string of 'outrageous' comments, IDF scolds attempts to ‘besmirch his good name.’ Lieberman says it will have 'no influence' on final outcome.
The IDF came out in defense on Monday of former IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan after a report on Sunday claimed that bereaved families wrote a letter to Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman urging him to drop him from the list of four candidates.



According to the report broadcast on Channel 2 News, families of fallen soldiers belonging to the “Choose Life” forum told Lieberman that it would be inappropriate to appoint Golan to replace incumbent Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, whose term will soon expire, due to a string of “outrageous” comments he has made in the past.


“Maj. Gen. Yair Golan has served in the IDF for 38 years in every military sphere and he has made a big contribution to the security of Israel,” the IDF wrote in a rare Twitter post responding to the news report.


Staff Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
Staff Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan (Photo: Motti Kimchi)

“The IDF’s achievements in the war on terror under his command speak for themselves. The portrayal of Maj. Gen. Golan as someone who has not acted or will not act against terrorists is out of touch with reality,” the tweet continued.


“Every baseless attempt to besmirch the good name of a commander in the IDF and his operational contributions is not appropriate.”


Earlier on Monday, Lieberman addressed the statements being made against Golan. “Maj. Gen. Yair Golan is a wonderful officer and a brave commander who has dedicated his life to the security of the State of Israel,” the defense minister wrote on Twitter following the news report.


“The slander campaign that has been waged against him in recent days is inappropriate, and it will have no influence on the outcome on the process of appointing the chief of staff,” he added.


Golan found himself in cold water in 2016 when he sparked controversy in Israel during a speech to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day in which he appeared to have drawn a comparison between current Israeli sentiment and that of Europe in the 1930s, which led to the Holocaust.


“The Holocaust must lead us to think about our public life, and more importantly, it must lead everyone who can, not merely those who want, to carry public responsibility. If there is something that frightens me about the memory of the Holocaust, it is seeing the abhorrent processes that took place in Europe, and Germany in particular, some 70, 80 or 90 years ago, and finding manifestations of these processes here among us in 2016,” Golan said


Defense Minister Lieberman and Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot (Photo: Ariel Harmoni/Defense Ministry)
Defense Minister Lieberman and Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot (Photo: Ariel Harmoni/Defense Ministry)


Amid the backlash, Golan’s speech drawing a harsh public rebuke by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who slammed the former chief of staff’s comments as “infuriating.”


“The remarks are fundamentally incorrect. They should not have been made at any time, much less now. They do an injustice to Israeli society and belittle the Holocaust. The deputy chief of staff is an outstanding officer, but his remarks on this issue were utterly mistaken and unacceptable to me,” Netanyahu said


Following scathing criticism of Golan's comments from Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett, who was present in the audience, and others, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit released a statement seeking to clarify Golan’s remarks.


“The deputy chief of staff would like to clarify that he had no intention to compare the IDF and the State of Israel to the process that took place in Germany 70 years ago. The absurd comparison is entirely without foundation, and there was no intention to draw such parallels or to criticize the state's leadership. The IDF is a moral army which safeguards the purity of arms and human life,” the statement said.  


פרסום ראשון: 08.13.18, 18:00
 new comment
See all talkbacks "IDF backs chief of staff candidate after Lieberman urged not to appoint him"
This will delete your current comment