Galant's Arrogance Makes Him Perfect for IDF Chief

Incoming IDF chief's home is an architectural embodiment of an arrogant attitude based on the premise of sovereignty.

You look at the house that Yoav Galant built and the picture is clear: He is suitable to be the Israel Defense Forces chief of staff.

The excessive size of the place, the open craving for space, the aggressiveness needed to get it done - these are precisely the basic qualifications for someone who's supposed to lead an organization whose job is to implement long-term control over occupied territory and people who oppose it.

galant - Tal Cohen - January 26 2011
Tal Cohen

Galant's house is, in many ways, a metaphor for the State of Israel. Take a look - at the lack of consideration for the neighbors, at the bureaucratic loopholes that allow for distasteful practices, at the obsession over expansion, at the takeover, at the facts on the ground. It's primarily a self-ignorant symbol of a megalomania, of a force that doesn't realize its ramifications.

The house that Galant built is a villa in the jungle, to borrow an Israeli metaphor used to describe what some see as Israel's position as an island of civilization in the Middle East. That villa is an architectural embodiment of an arrogant attitude based on the premise of sovereignty: I deserve it because I'm better than others. Why better than others? Maybe because I'm an "important person," a major general in the IDF, or because we're the "chosen people."

Therefore, it's self-evident that we should get what the simple folk - or the neighbor who isn't chosen - don't get.

If a single point had to be picked that holds together all the constructions of Israeli belligerence, it would be the "escape route" path paved for Galant, the land for which was appropriated using the pretext of security. The way in which the path was paved encapsulates the way in which the occupation is allowed to continue.

The chronology is the same. The entity in power has some need and a creative bureaucratic excuse is found for fulfilling the need; an official will be located to present an "expert" opinion recognizing the need, security rhetoric is used to create an aura of strength related to the need, background noise that isn't necessarily in line with the need is taken care of, and there is public indifference to the need and the ways in which it is met. Now the entity in power does exactly what it wants, without taking the surroundings into consideration.

Galant's response also embodies the typical Israeli response. It's important to maintain the right to remain silent, as befits someone who is above everybody else and doesn't owe an explanation.

Instead of acting like a good neighbor, instead of explicating the situation or starting a dialogue, it's always better to ignore people that are different, to avoid cooperating, to give preference to mechanisms that are generally characteristic of a sense of supremacy apparently rooted in guilty feelings.

From Galant's perspective, as from that of the State of Israel, a response is essential only if it will be demanded by equal or higher-ranking entities - like the state comptroller, like the United States, like the amorphous "international pressure."

When an entity further up on the hierarchy does demand a response, what should be issued should never be an actual response, but a version of what happened. In other words, it will always take into account the criminal angle, but not the underlying fundamentals. "I didn't lie - there might have been mistakes"; these are the words that are supposed to let Galant continue to move up in his career, to be appointed chief of staff, not words that are meant to represent soul-searching or the beginnings of a dialogue.

What comes of all this is that it's no surprise to learn that those close to Galant are arguing that he is being subjected to character assassination - just as the Europeans/leftists/bleeding hearts are instigating a character assassination of the State of Israel when it comes to anything related to appropriating land or being inconsiderate of our neighbors.

The state comptroller is currently looking into the matter, but his investigation is unnecessary. All we need to do is look at the villa in the jungle in order to realize that Yoav Galant is just the right pick for IDF chief of staff.