The worthy and fitting appointment of Maj. Gen. (res. ) Yaakov Amidror to head the National Security Council threw Israel's radical left into a tizzy. The completely disproportionate assault on Amidror by members of this camp crossed every red line, proving that the extreme left is no less delusional and dangerous than the extreme right.
A group of public figures, "artists and authors," wrote an open letter which, according to press reports, described Amidror as a 1930s-style fascist and said the appointment has "a black flag waving over it." We're certainly used to the style of the radical left, which labels as fascist anyone who actively disputes its positions or acts in a manner not deemed appropriate. But taking an expression coined by an Israeli court to describe the killing of innocent Arab men, women and children in the Kafr Qassem massacre, and using it to describe the appointment of a major general in the reserves, is stooping to the lowest possible level. It is nonsense and mean-spiritedness that should be condemned in every possible way.
Amidror was a major general in the IDF, who served impeccably for decades in a variety of roles, mostly in intelligence. Since retiring from the military, he has successfully run an important academic institution. He is known as someone who stands his professional ground and is not afraid to express his professional opinion, sometimes in strong terms; yet he was always also a disciplined soldier.
Amidror has strong political views, which he has expressed on many occasions. His positions are popular with large parts of the Israeli public and are deemed unacceptable by other parts; some of his positions are also completely unacceptable to this writer. But does that disqualify him from serving as a head of the National Security Council? A key condition for any such appointment is whether the candidate is trusted by the prime minister and has similar political views.
One argument against Amidror is that he, together with half the nation, opposed the disengagement from the Gaza Strip. Yet for some reason, people forget that on the same grounds, he was just as fervently opposed to conscientious objection. Amidror was one of the prominent voices in the religious Zionist camp who utterly and completely ruled out and rules out any refusal to obey orders as well as conscientious objection. It is said that during Operation Cast Lead, Amidror called for a renewed conquest of Gaza and for toppling the Hamas regime. Today we know that then prime minister Ehud Olmert was of the same mind. Does that also make him a 1930s-style fascist?
The greatest hypocrisy of it all is the nitpicking that came following his remark - made during an academic discussion, when he did not serve in any official role - that a bullet should be put through the head of any soldier afraid to charge the enemy. This may not be the brightest remark, but any reasonable person knows that it was not meant to express a practical intent, but rather, a deep disgust with the ideology of cowardliness and hesitance in combat. It was David Ben-Gurion who established, as early as 1948, that any soldier in the IDF must commit himself to "give all my strength and even sacrifice my life for defense of the homeland and the freedom of Israel."
The prime minister has the right to appoint to the head of the National Security Council the person he sees most fit. Amidror is deserving and worthy of the role.
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