Commander of the Border Defense Unit and Chief Combat Intelligence Gathering officer, Brig. Gen. Mordechai Kahane, on Monday communicated to the IDF Chief of Staff his desire to leave the army, Kipa reported. This untimely retirement of another in a string of well-qualified Orthodox officers takes place against the background of a Military Police investigation that opened against Kahane on suspicion that he illegally held military and civilian equipment in a container his possession.
“Over the past two weeks,” Brig. Gen. Kanah wrote in a letter he submitted to Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot during the meeting between them, “I was interrogated, unfortunately, because of the presence of various items in a container that was stationed at the base where I served.”
He also wrote: “Of course, I have fully cooperated with the investigation, and made clear that none of the items in the container were for my personal benefit, heaven forbid –still, in my own opinion, too, I had erred in following protocol.”
He concluded by announcing his retirement from the army: “As a person who cherished throughout his service the value of educating through setting a personal example and accepting responsibility, and as someone who cherishes the army, I decided to ask you to let me conclude my role as well as advance my retirement from the IDF by a few months.”
The son of Rabbi Nachman Kahane (Rosh Kollel Chazon Yehezkel in the Old City) and nephew of Rabbi Meir Kahane, Brig. Gen. Kahane was suspended for 14 days from his post by Ground Forces Commander, Major General Kobi Barak, with the approval of the Chief of Staff, following an MPCID investigation resulting in suspicions that Kahane received and held equipment in his container for a long period of time without authorization.
He apparently stored a variety of military equipment in the container, including a captured Kalashnikov rifle seized from Hamas, a pistol and night vision equipment – in violation of military orders. He also kept in the same container accessory parts for IDF issue weapons, which he gave out to soldiers, and a washing machine.
And so, as Israel is facing a looming war along its borders with Lebanon and Syria, the IDF has forced out one of its most brilliant generals for the unauthorized possession of a washing machine, a souvenir assault rifle and spare parts.
The Chief of Staff accepted his senior officer’s resignation, but not before stressing that his actions did not befit an officer in the IDF, with a magnificent military past in a variety of command and combat positions over almost three decades.
Now it remains to be seen whether Eizenkot’s dumping of this senior officer befits the conduct of an IDF Chief of Staff.