Maj.--Gen Yair Naveh
Maj.--Gen Yair Naveh(file)

Several prominent ultra-leftists petitioned the High Court Sunday against the appointment of Major General Yair Naveh as IDF Deputy Chief of Staff. Naveh entered the new position three days ago.

The petitioners include former minister and founder of Meretz Shulamit Aloni, veteran leftist journalist-activist Uri Avneri, poet Natan Zach and Musi Raz, Director of “Peace Now.” They claim that Naveh was responsible for targeted killings of terrorists in contravention of High Court rulings and of international law.

Internal IDF inquiries showed that Naveh was involved in targeted killings of wanted Arab terrorists who could have been arrested instead of being killed, the ultra-leftists claimed. The killings caused casualties among innocent bystanders who were present near the terrorists, they said.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak's decision to appoint Naveh as Deputy Chief of Staff is “extremely unreasonable from a legal standpoint, and is wrong morally as well.”

The High Court motion is based upon documents that were stolen from Naveh's bureau by then-soldier Anat Kam, and published by Haaretz journalist Uri Blau. Kam is standing trial for the theft.

“A black flag waves over the appointment, that says it is forbidden, forbidden, forbidden to appoint such a man to the position,” Raz said.  “Peace Now” is a group that wants Israel to shrink to the pre-1967 shape that former Foreign Minister Abba Eban named “the Auschwitz Borders.”

The IDF adopted targeted killings of terrorists as one of the methods of dealing with the unprecedented terror offensive unleashed by Palestinian Authority terror groups in 2000. They are generally seen as effective in deterring terrorists by causing their leaders to live in cosntant fear of an unexpected death.

Nationalists have also been firecely opposed to Naveh in the past, because of his role in the 2005 Disengagement. His appointment is the most prominent IDF position ever occupied by a religious person.