Monday, January 22, 2007

Shema up

The Israeli government announced a new IDF Chief of Staff has been appointed. Maybe it’s just me, but I do think the new Chief of Staff bears a striking resemblance to Mr. Spock. Anyway, Ynet News carries this brief intro to Maj. General (retired) Gabi Ashkenazi :

(Photo: Shalom Bar Tal)
Beyond being renowned for his extensive experience as a ground commander, Ashkenazi is a graduate of both the Tel Aviv Junior Command Preparatory School and the US Marines Training Command School. The 53-year-old holds a BA in Political Science and is a father of two. Ashkenazi served most of his military career in the Northern Command but he fought with Southern Command soldiers in his early days.

In 1972, he joined the Golani Brigade and fought in the Yom Kippur war a year later. He also took part in Entebbe operation and was injured in the Litani operation in Lebanon. By 1980, he was commanding a Golani battalion and during the first Lebanon war he was the Deputy Commander of the Golani Brigade. He became popular among combat soldiers during his tenure as Golani commander between 1986 and 1988, after which he served as Northern Command Intelligence Chief.

In the early nineties he was appointed as commander of the northern command armored brigade. From 1992 to 1994 he headed civil the IDF's administration operations in southern Lebanon and worked closely with South Lebanon Army officers. He then served for four years as the Head of Operations at the General Staff. In the summer of 1998 he was appointed as Northern Command Chief. It was during his term as Northern Command Chief that the bodies of three soldiers by Hizbullah in a cross-border attack in 2000.

In 2002 he was appointed as Deputy Chief of Staff and resigned two years later when he lost to Maj. Gen. Dan Halutz who was former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon 's choice for chief of staff. He officially retired from the IDF in May 2005, and was appointed as the Director-General of the Ministry of Defense.
I went searching for a little bio on Askhenazi and stumbled across this site by accident (the link is not for those with a weak tolerance for pure unadultered crap). Keep in mind the Golani Brigade is one of the most highly decorated and sought after fighting units of the IDF.

Too bad Askhenazi is not Mr. Spock so he can’t get Scottie to beam her off world.


Michael said...

That crap site was obscene.

And it lied about Bint Jbail, too. In that battle, Golani's lead battalion was caught in an ambush, lost 8 killed, rallied, and drove the Hezbollah terrorists out of the town just as the rest of the brigade arrived. Total Israeli dead: the 8 in the initial ambush. This was the battle in which an Israeli officer jumped on a grenade to protect his squad.


Considering that the northern border is the most likely hotspot in the near future, it sounds like Olmert actually made a good decision. Wow.

Kateland, aka TZH said...

Michael, I don't usually link to this but reading thru her whole 'expose' but its not often I get to apply the Suzuki principle to every single sentence. The Suzuki principle was developed by one of the first bloggers I ever read with any regularity. He would take any issue and ask himself what position would Suzuki take, and take the opposite one.

Its not often one gets an opportunity to look into a seriously warped pathology. What I enjoyed especially was the alleged quote from an Israeli soldier suggesting on recruitment requirements for the Golani Brigade.

Michael said...

Kate, I must have a lower "crap tolerance threshold" than you, because I couldn't read it that far...

Israeli soldiers are mostly just kids, thrown into hard situations. You can tell the combat troops from the well-worn guns they carry, and the sleepy look they wear on the busses and trains, and it amazes me how they retain their humanity.

You should see them light up whenever my 4 yr old Big Girl thanks one of them (a "green guy," she says) for stopping the booms.

Kateland, aka TZH said...

Michael, I don't know what to say, its a shame she even had to live under the booms.