IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Avi Benayahu repulsed Thursday morning a leftist attack on the appointment of Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror to head the National Security Council.
IDF Spox: Amidror Targeted 'Because of Kippah and Beard'
Brig.-Gen. Benayahu defends appointment of Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror as Nat'l Security Council chief, following leftist attack.
Gil Ronen, 10/03/11 12:10 | updated: 12:20
Major General (res.) Amidror
Israel news photo
"He is being judged because of [his] kippah and beard," Benayahu told IDF Radio. He praised Amidror's professional and personal qualities as rendering him the right person for the job.
A group of prominent ultra-leftists wrote a letter Wednesday to all of the members of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, as well as the Knesset Speaker and the Supreme Court President, demanding that Amidror's appointment be revoked.
The letter quoted from a closed meeting in which Amidror allegedly said that soldiers who are afraid to take part in an assault on the enemy in wartime should be shot in the head. The leftist signatories, who include professors and artists, said this statement means that "a black flag waves" over the appointment and that it makes him ineligible for any public duty. Amidror said that his statement related to an utterly hypothetical extreme situation in which a soldier's refusal to charge would cost the lives of other soldiers, and that it was completely taken out of context.
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amidror served in the IDF for 36 years, primarily in Intelligence. He is the former commander of the IDF's National Defense College and the IDF Staff and Command College. He is also former head of the IDF's Research and Assessment Division, with special responsibility for preparing the National Intelligence Assessment. In addition, he served as the military secretary of the defense minister. He is program director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and Vice President of the Lander Institute in Jerusalem.