J'lem 'Core of the World'

Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin tells Knesset he told colleagues in the US: 'Washington may be the center of the world, but Jerusalem is its core.'

Gil Ronen, | updated: 13:12

Maj-Gen Yadlin with MK HaNegbi
Maj-Gen Yadlin with MK HaNegbi
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The outgoing Head of IDF Military Intelligence, Major-General Amos Yadlin, bade farewell Tuesday to the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and related a story from his days as the IDF attache in Washington, DC, in 2004-2006. Yadlin said that when his American colleagues told him that Washington is the center of the world, he replied – “Washington may be the center of the world but Jerusalem is the core of the world.”

Yadlin, an Air Force man who was one of the eight pilots in the historic 1981 raid on the Iraqi nuclear plant, was appointed to head MI in 2006.

"In the course of my tenure the prime minister was replaced twice, the defense minister three times and the chief of staff twice,” Yadlin said. “I experienced two wars and we only dealt with two nuclear programs,” he said – apparently referring to the Iranian program as well as the attack on a Syrian reactor, that Israel has yet to admit being involved in.

After receiving a hail of compliments from the Committee chairman, MK Tzachi HaNegbi (Kadima), and its members, Yadlin said: “All the compliments you bestowed on me, I ask to pass on to my people, the people who work 365 days a year to collect information that the enemy does not willingly hand over and needs to be collected from very hard places, so that I can present the intelligence assessment to my clients.”

He added that his chief “client,” as far as he was concerned, is “the solitary soldier in the field. The one who, in the end, pulls the trigger and has to win the war.” This soldier, he said, is at the top of his list of “clients,” alongside the Prime Minister and Defense Minister.