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Top IDF Officer: Israelis Have Lost Faith in IDF

Whilst condemning Yitzhar extremists, top officer slams defense establishment for refusing to take decisive action against Israel's enemies.
By Yaakov Levi
First Publish: 4/10/2014, 8:31 AM

Amatzia Chen
Amatzia Chen
Flash90

In an interview with Arutz Sheva, a top IDF officer said that he condemned the violence by youths at Yitzhar against IDF officers, but that he understands the “lack of faith” of residents in the IDF.

Colonel Amatzia Chen (Res.) said that there was no excuse “in a civilized country to disobey the law. Without laws there is no society, and I fully condemn the actions of residents against IDF soldiers.” Clashes between the IDF and Yitzhar residents Tuesday morning ended with four homes demolished, but also an IDF outpost destroyed.

On the other hand, he said “the IDF for thirty years, ever since the Peace for Galilee campaign in 1982, has had a very difficult time defending Israelis. In that war we saw how 250,000 residents of the south, as well as of the north, were forced to spend endless hours in bomb shelters. Meanwhile, instead of trying to figure out ways to defend these people, the IDF foolishly stationed soldiers in outposts, which were easy targets for terror attacks. In the end the IDF had to run away from Lebanon, withdrawing altogether in 1999.

“The same thing happened in the intifada in 2002,” said Chen. “Instead of eliminating the terrorists, the IDF is satisfied with an 'even draw,' which encourages terror attacks against Israeli residents.” As a result, Israelis have lost faith in the IDF's ability to defend them.

However, that lack of faith could be reversed, said Chen. “We live in a kind of ghetto, where we are constantly thinking about how to defend ourselves, with many people depressed about this. You see the poor refugees from Gush Katif who are still seeking a place in society. All this has come about because of the weakness of the army and the defense establishment, and the lack of will to win the battle against our enemies. The tougher and stronger we are, the less likely they will be to attack us.

“What's even more interesting,” he said, “is that those who live inside the 1948 armistice lines, supposedly the 'secure' part of Israel, are the ones who feel the most insecure, while those who live in Judea and Samaria are afraid only of the government demolishing their homes.”