Netanyahu Appoints New National Security Adviser, Ya'akov Amidror

Amidror is a former head of research in Military Intelligence who is identified with the right-wing; he currently writes a column for newspaper Israel Today.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Wednesday his appointment of Maj. Gen. (res.) Ya'akov Amidror as his new national security adviser.

The previous person to hold this position, Uzi Arad, announced he was resigning from his post last month in order to return to academia.

Amidror is a former head of research in Military Intelligence who is identified with the right-wing. He currently writes a column for the newspaper Israel Today.

The prime minister's office said that Amidror will take up his position after working and training in conjunction with Arad, who currently holds the position.

The new national security adviser caused controversy last year after he told a conference that soldiers should kill anyone who gets in the way of completing their mission - and that soldiers who refuse to attack should be shot, too.

"A soldier who won't attack when they tell him 'forward' because he says, 'Two soldiers to my right and two to my left have been killed, so I won't move' - any normal military system should put a bullet in his head, and a liberal system should put him in jail," Amidror said, speaking at a conference organized by the Israel Democracy Institute on "National Values in the Israel Defense Forces."

A group of intellectuals sent a letter to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee protesting Amidror's appointment. The signatories include writers Joshua Sobol and Yoram Kaniuk and Israel Prize laureates David Tartakover, Shulamit Aloni, Yehuda Bauer, Sefi Rachlevsky and Tziona Shimshi.

The letter quotes statements by Amidror, including the comments he made at the Israel Democracy Institute conference as "disqualifying him from any public position, certainly not a sensitive military-political post."

The letter also said Amidror's ideas "place him not only on the Fascist side of the 1930s, but appear to be a copy of the world of internal terror ... that led, in blood and fire, to the destruction of the Second Temple."

Tomer Appelbaum