Political agendas were interwoven with the Israeli army since its inception in 1948. Though Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion was clever enough to include all the paramilitary groups–including the socialist Haganah, the communist Palmach, and the revisionist Etzel and Lehi–he didn’t trust the Revisionists enough to entrust them with senior commanding positions.
Ben-Gurion’s suspicion became an unofficial policy that has created a glass ceiling preventing officers identified as right-wingers from climbing too high up the military ladder. Those to the right of the political spectrum regularly note that though 40 percent of graduates of the IDF officers’ course are religious, very few of them go beyond commanding a brigade, and no one has ever been appointed a member of the General Staff.
The IDF’s unspoken political discrimination speaks loudly through the retired Chiefs of Staff and generals who have entered the political arena. From 1948 until today, almost all of them have joined the Labor Party, which later fractured into a range of left-wing parties ranging from the moderate-left “Blue and...
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