“As I take on the responsibility to lead the army, I pledge to dedicate all my energies, with a critical and demanding approach, to strengthening the protective wall, and to adapt it to the challenges of the present and the future, with the focus on increasing its ability to strike at the enemy and establishing a lethal, efficient and innovative army, which preserves its own mission and uniqueness,” the incoming chief of staff, Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi Announced on Tuesday.
Kochavi was appointed head of the IDF’s General Staff by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at a ceremony held at the IDF Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv. He replaced Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, who attended the ceremony.
“Like every soldier at the ceremony of taking the oath, I also undertook back then to devote all my efforts to the defense of the homeland,” Kochavi said. “Now, as Chief of the General Staff, with national security and the good of the State before me, I vow this again. We have much work ahead, great success to all of us.”
“I assume the role with reverence and see it as a privilege,” Kochavi said.
Prime Minister Netanyahu devoted his speech to the struggle against Iran’s nuclear armament. “We had to pierce the Iranian lies, we revealed them with the release of the secret nuclear archive,” he said. “We also carried out Israel’s defense by disrupting the supply of weapons and Hezbollah’s attempts to arm itself.”
So I advise them to get out quickly because we will continue our aggressive policy as we promised, without fear and without interruption,” the PM continued, referring to the Iranian presence in Syria.
“All of our power buildup activities in recent years have been aimed at strengthening the IDF’s readiness to achieve one goal – victory in war. And the stronger we are, the greater the chance for peace.”
In his farewell speech, Eizenkot referred to the army’s preparedness for war, responding to the harsh criticism directed at himself and the IDF by outgoing IDF ombudsman Yitzhak Brick. Brick has been warning for some time now that the IDF under Eizenkot’s leadership is far from being prepared for a multi-front war, and that communication between the field officers and the top echelons is riddles with misrepresentations.
“In the last four years, the IDF has scored remarkable achievements, carried out thousands of acts of force and precision, and has established its status in the eyes of its enemies as a sophisticated, surprising and creative army,” the departing chief of staff insisted, explaining that “these achievements were accomplished not with words of praise but with modesty, deep thinking, meticulous planning and professional performance, with constant skepticism and continuous improvement.”
“Security activity can’t always be described in eight-word headlines,” a somewhat bitter Eizenkot said, in a clear rebuke of the media.
It should be noted that Eizenkot, unlike most IDF chiefs who reach the end of their three-year term, was not offered to stay an additional year.