And, in Israel, security has always been one of the most important political issues. According to numerous surveys, Israelis trust the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) before all other institutions. Least trusted are politicians and the media. The average Israeli believes that the generals are prepared to sacrifice everything for the nation, making each and every new IDF Chief of General Staff an attractive future recruit for our political parties. But, does being a good military commander qualify one for politics?
There’s a long-standing tradition of Israel’s top generals turning to politics after leaving the army. Since the founding of the state, there have been 22 chiefs of staff, and 13 of them have gone on to enter politics. The first to do so was Israel’s fourth chief of staff, Moshe Dayan. This year, several former chiefs of staff are seeking seats in the Knesset. Benny Gantz (#20) has established the new Israel Resilience party, in which he is joined by Moshe Ya’alon (#17), and hopes to soon add Gabi Ashkenazi (#19). And there are rumors that Ehud Barak (#14) might...
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