Photo Credit: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90; Yossi Aloni/Flash90
Minister Yoav Gallant vs. former Minister Haim Ramon.

Former Labor MK Haim Ramon who held numerous ministerial portfolios between 1995 and 2009, on Thursday tweeted:

I recently learned that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories to review the possibility of establishing an Israeli military government in the Gaza Strip, in light of the failure of all the attempts to find local forces or foreign forces to control the distribution of humanitarian aid.
But Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, with the full backing of the General Staff, imposed a complete veto on the plan, and the Prime Minister folded and withdrew his request. And so, once again, the short-sighted stubbornness of the defense minister places Israel in front of a broken trough in achieving the collapse of Hamas’s civilian rule in the Gaza Strip.

First, the Hebrew phrase, “he stood before a broken trough” describes a shepherd who herded his flock to water only to discover that the trough, the elongated metal sink from which barnyard animals drink, is broken. In other words, failure.


Many Israelis would agree with Ramon, who is not suspected of being a Netanyahu fan. Gallant is showing time and again that despite his Likud membership, he is as much a part of the conceptzia of the security establishment as are the IDF leaders who went to bed on the eve of October 7, 2024, and decided to revisit the alerts of a Hamas attack around 8 the next morning, because everybody knew Hamas was deterred.


The Winograd Commission, a.k.a. The Commission of Inquiry into the events of military engagement in Lebanon 2006, sounded the alert on the IDF’s problems with conceptualizing new possible realities other than the ones in its own intelligence analyses.

The report labeled the Second Lebanon War as a significant squandered chance. Despite possessing overwhelming air superiority and technological advancements, the conflict concluded without a decisive military triumph. Remarkably, a significantly smaller paramilitary group managed to withstand a much larger force. Lebanese rockets persistently targeted Israeli civilians throughout the duration of the war, proving difficult for Israel to thwart effectively. Consequently, life in affected Israeli regions endured severe disruptions, prompting many civilians to either temporarily evacuate or seek refuge in shelters. Even when Israel launched a substantial ground offensive, it failed to yield tangible military gains and remained incomplete.

The troubling discoveries uncovered significant deficiencies and inadequacies in decision-making procedures at both political and military echelons, in preparedness, decision-making, and performance within the IDF, notably within the army, in strategic deliberation and planning across political and military tiers, and in safeguarding the civilian populace and addressing rocket threats.

Ultimately, the IDF fell short of delivering an efficient military counter to the encountered challenges. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge the unwavering dedication of soldiers, particularly reservists, who displayed numerous acts of heroism, courage, selflessness, and commitment throughout the conflict. The Air Force, notably, exhibited exceptional prowess, yet its capabilities alone couldn’t determine the outcome, as its effectiveness was inherently constrained by the broader shortcomings evident in the IDF’s overall performance.


Yoav Gallant’s military career coincided with the IDF’s conceptual failure years, although he was lucky enough to be appointed Commander of the Southern Command in 2005, one year before the Lebanon fiasco up north. Gallant is a military man, with all the good and bad traits that the term suggests. Or, as the Winograd Commission put it:

“There is nothing graceful and proper about the anti-intellectual tendency of some of the senior command of the IDF. Such a tendency does not encourage deep thinking and necessary strategic perception, and may also cause a desire for superficial correction through quasi-intellectualism, a dubious and harmful approach.”

Despite the years many of them have spent at Harvard University, it turns out the 2000-2023 crop of IDF high commanders is mostly routine thinkers and yes-sayers. And Yoav Gallant fits this bill. Incidentally, I just found out that back in the 1980s, after six years of active service, he moved to Alaska and worked there as a lumberjack. I’m sure he was very good at his job.

It may be time for PM Netanyahu to fire his defense minister who routinely sides with the security establishment and the Gantz and Eisenkot duo, and appoint a fresh thinker. I hear General Ofer Winter has been left behind yet again in Gallant’s latest round of promotions.

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