Altering the Defense Ministry's DNA

DM Avigdor Lieberman disappoints almost entirely. One person in the coalition can make necessary changes to the important office. Opinion.

Uzi Baruch,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Yonatan Sindel, Flash 90

Many hopes accompanied the change of guard in the Defense Ministry just over a year ago, when Yisrael Beyteinu joined the coalition.

The replacement of resigning minister Moshe Ya'alon with Avigdor "If I am Defense Minister - within 48 hours Haniyeh dies" Liberman caused a cloudburst of optimism on the Right.

The idea was that Liberman, a right-wing 'settler' from Gush Etzion, would usher in a profound change in the Defense Ministry's conduct in a wide range of areas where change is needed. The fighting spirit of the IDF, the attitude toward settlement in Judea and Samaria, privatizing Army Radio, and so forth.

Now that a year has passed, it is possible to determine clearly: There are no results and there will not be any. Liberman did not change the Defense Ministry. Perhaps the Defense Ministry changed Liberman.

The conclusion reached from this year is also clear: We need a defense minister who can create a profound change in the ministry. A minister who is capable of fundamentally changing the culture of command and along with it the entire way in which the ministry operates, from top to bottom.

The question is, of course, who needs to replace Liberman. A right and left glance at the coalition reveals that there is only one other natural candidate for the position, Education Minister Naftali Bennett.

Bennett, to whom the job was promised before the last elections - a promise that was broken by the Prime Minister - stands at the head of a faction that has only eight seats. On the other hand, the current minister, Liberman, heads a faction with only six Knesset seats, so even in this respect, it is an improvement.

If you look at the picture a little more broadly, you understand that only Bennett has the ability to lead the required change. Bennett was the one who made the transition in Operation Cast Lead, the shift that led to the entry into Gaza and the operation to expose and thwart the tunnels. If not for Bennett, the operation might have ended with the main threat to the communities surrounding the Gaza Strip still in force today.

In fact, Bennett has an impressive track record of being able to change DNA in the places he comes to lead. The Jewish Home Party is a glaring example. A suffocated, embroiled, and divided party came under Bennett's leadership for an historic achievement and went on to become the epicenter of turbulent events.

In the Israeli government too, Bennett led a very significant reconstruction of DNA. He turned the weak regime into a government with a backbone, one that conducts a firm policy and knows how to stand up for it.

Bennett's profound change in the Education Ministry can be attested to by the school principals and people in the field. New programs, new trends, an uncompromising struggle against extreme left-wing elements, and the first disturbance for years to the holy cow of the Council for Higher Education.

If there is a person in the political system capable of taking the Defense Ministry and creating the necessary change, an in-depth change, a change in the DNA of the ministry - is only one person, the Chairman of the Jewish Home party Naftali Bennett.

Translated from Hebrew by Mordechai Sones.