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Cabinet Approves Amidror as NSC Head

Kippah-wearing retired IDF general weathered left-wing campaign against his appointment.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 3/27/2011, 8:13 PM / Last Update: 3/27/2011, 8:36 PM

Israel news photo

 

The Cabinet gave official approval Sunday to the appointment of Major General (res.) Yaakov Amidror as Head of the National Security Council. As NSC head, Amidror will also be the Prime Minister's National Security Adviser.
 
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced several weeks ago that he had selected Amidror to replace Dr. Uzi Arad, who was appointed to head the NSC after Netanyahu was elected to lead the country in 2009. 
 
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amidror served in the IDF for 36 years, primarily in Intelligence. Among other roles, he was Head of IDF Colleges, and headed the IDF's Research and Assessment Division, which prepares the National Intelligence Assessment. 
 
After his discharge from the army, he was appointed to head a committee that examined how well the IDF had gathered intelligence before the Second Lebanon War.
 
Leftist academics recently demanded the cancellation of Amidror's appointment as NSC head, because of a remark he allegedly made in a lecture, regarding a hypothetical situation in which soldiers refuse their commanders' orders in the heat of war. The leftists claimed he had recommended that such soldiers be shot. Amidror did not apologize and made clear that his statement had been misquoted and taken out of context. 
 
Two weeks ago, Amidror spoke at the Jerusalem Conference and said rabbis were not authorities in matters of national security. Appearing on a panel discussion of Torah and military orders, Amidror explained that just as rabbis defer to doctors in matters of medicine, they need to recognize that they are not experts on security matters.
 
Amidror spoke out against the idea that soldiers may refuse orders they object to. He recounted that he had gone "from branch to branch" of the Likud party to oppose the government's removal of Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria in 2005, but that when rabbis called to disobey expulsion orders, he went "from IDF unit to IDF unit" to explain that the only thing worse than the unilateral pullout was a level of refusal that would have made it impossible to carry out the order.