Hezbollah's Nasrallah Quotes IDF Ombudsman: 'The Israeli Military Can't Recruit Young People'

Hezbollah leader says 'last year 44,000 soldiers met with psychiatrists,' referring to report that the number of soldiers meeting mental health officers has gone up by 40 percent

Hassan Nasrallah speaks in Beirut, August 2018.
Hussein Malla/AP

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah quoted Sunday the report of the Israeli military's ombudsman who warned against a manpower crisis in the Israel Defense Forces. Nasrallah also quoted a Haaretz story on the increase of soldiers seeking mental health appointments.

Nasrallah said in his speech that "the main problem of the Israeli army is its failure to recruit young people." He referred to Maj. Gen. (res) Yitzhak Brik's report from June: "Good people leave the army. “Those who remain aren’t necessarily the best, the ones the army thought were right for it. On the face of it, the numbers are similar to those in the past, but these are not necessarily the people the army wanted to continue with it. The exit by high-quality officers and commanders will bring the IDF to a mediocre level professionally."

>> IDF watchdog vexed over 'serious motivation crisis among young officers' ■ Soldiers’ visits to mental health offices jump 40 percent since 2010

This month, Brik sent a letter to senior officers and members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee warning of a severe crisis the consequences of which will be seen in several years. Brik warned that the military will in the future comprise of only mediocre officers.

Nasrallah also said that "last year 44,000 soldiers met with psychiatrists." Last week, Haaretz reported that since 2010, there had been a 40 percent increase in the number of consultations soldiers in compulsory service held with army mental health officers.

According to IDF figures, between 2016 and 2017 there were 47,000 such meetings, and the number cited by Nasrallah refers to previous years. The number refers to the number of meetings, not to the number of soldiers who asked to meet with mental health officers; additionally, not all mental health officers are necessarily psychiatrists.