Gadi Eizenkot is the Chief of General Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces. Soldier number 1 in Israel. He was appointed for the role about a year ago.
Two public statements made by Eizenkot recently drew attention to this man.
Last month, during his address at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, Eizenkot said:
Despite the wave of terror, we maintain that there is a separation between terror and the population, and every day 120,000 Palestinians go to work in Israel and in Judea and Samaria, to support their families. I think that it’s in Israel’s interests to be restrained, as well as to maintain security cooperation with the Palestinians as a shared interest. You don’t need to be a strategist or an intelligence officer in order to know that this will continue.
Yesterday, while speaking to a group of soon-to-be conscripts at a high school in Bat Yam, Eizenkot said (alluding to this incident last November):
The IDF doesn’t need to get swept up in clichéd statements like ‘kill or be killed’ or ‘whoever comes at you with scissors needs to be killed.’ The tools that are at the soldiers’ disposal are sufficient. I don’t want to see a soldier empty a magazine [to shoot] a young girl with scissors.
It is refreshing, especially in this day and age, to hear a senior Israeli leader (and a military one at that) voicing such clear moral statements. The fact that right-wing politicians are calling for Eizenkot to be questioned about this last statement, is further confirmation that he is to be commended for voicing such opinions.
Israel’s iconic first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, famously said: “May every Jewish mother know that she has put her son under the care of commanders who are up to the task”. It would seem Eizenkot embodies the type of commander Ben Gurion spoke about.