What's Going On? Senior IDF Officials Weigh In

An increasing number of Israeli security officials are breaking with Israeli political leaders and publicly expressing views that boil down to: the current violence is not just about incitement, but about the political stalemate and lack of political horizon.  Those speaking out include the director of the IDF operations directorate, Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon; IDF Chief of Military Intelligence Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi; and Brig.-Gen. Guy Goldstein, deputy Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.

This week, Haaretz military and defense analyst Amos Harel published an article headlined, “Israeli Intelligence Agencies: Relations With Palestinian Authority Damaged, Any Quiet Will Be Short-term” and the Times of Israel’s Avi Issacharoff published a piece headlined, “ With no diplomatic horizon, terror wave won’t break.”

Commenting on these views being publicly aired by serving IDF officials, the Forward’s JJ Goldberg observed:

“Up to now, almost all public pushback from the security community has come from retired ex-service chiefs who are now private citizens and free to speak their minds. Their unanimity may well tell us something important about Israeli defense doctrine, as I’ve argued before. And indeed, many of them remain in close touch and intimately involved as reservists in current military and intelligence activity.

“But there’s a difference when active-duty generals speak out. IDF generals — unlike, say, Israeli cabinet ministers — are not free to spout off publicly with opinions that contradict their immediate bosses. When they do speak out, therefore, their views can be assumed to reflect those of the IDF command. Accordingly, for a high-ranking, active-duty general to voice a view that’s at odds with strongly held views of the prime minister is nothing less than shocking, because it’s the voice of the IDF. And that’s what has started happening now.”