After a months-long decision process, Defense Minister Benny Gantz has decided to choose current IDF deputy chief of staff Major General Herzi Halevi as his recommended candidate to be the IDF's 23rd chief of staff.
During the coming week, Gantz will submit his recommendation to the senior position appointment advisory commission, led by retired Supreme Court judge Menachem Mazuz. After the committee's confirmation, the recommendation will be submitted for government approval.
Defence Minister Gantz notified Prime Minister Yair Lapid and IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi of his decision. Gantz chose Halevi after an organized process, during which the Defense Minister consulted with many senior officials, including the current and former prime ministers, former defense ministers and chiefs of staff, and the current chief of staff.
Gantz has a long-running acquaintance with both of the final candidates. The Defense Minister decided that based on his experience, Halevi is the most appropriate general for the task. Gantz spoke to the Major General and notified him of the decision.
The Defense Minister also spoke with the runner-up Major General Eyal Zamir and told him that he sees him as an excellent candidate for the position of chief of staff.
Prime Minister Yair Lapid spoke about Gantz's decision on Sunday: "Maj.-Gen. Herzi Halevi is a worthy and natural choice. Herzi is an outstanding and talented officer with considerable experience. I am certain that he will lead the IDF to many significant achievements. This was a choice between two good and worthy candidates. I wish Maj.-Gen. Eyal Zamir success in the future. I have no doubt that he will continue to contribute his experience and talents to the security of the State of Israel."
Chief of the General Staff, LTG Aviv Kohavi, also spoke with the two candidates. The Chief of the General Staff welcomes the selection of a highly qualified and experienced officer. LTG Kohavi congratulated MG Herzi Halevi on his appointment to the position and wished him success. The Chief of the General Staff thanked MG Eyal Zamir for his noteworthy and accomplished service and wished him success moving forward.
Major General Halevi has served in the past as chief of the Southern Command, head of the military intelligence directorate, commander of the interbranch command college, and Galil Formation commander.
Halevi was born in Jerusalem. His father is the son of Haim Shalom Halevi (Gordin), who fought for the Irgun underground before the founding of the state of Israel, and Tzila, the daughter of Dov Ber Kook, and niece of Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Hakohen Kook.
Herzi was named after his uncle, Herzel, who was killed during the Six Day War during the battle for Jerusalem.
He lives in Kfar Ha'oranim and is a father of four. He has a BA in philosophy and business management and a MA in national resource management from National Defense University in Washington DC.