Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear that he strongly prefers Brigadier General Ofer Vinter, currently the chief of the Central Command staff, as the next military secretary to the Prime Minister.
Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot officially told Vinter that he won’t be given the position, according to an exclusive report in NRG.
Vinter is a decorated war soldier, and considered by many to be on the path to becoming the future Chief of Staff. The position of military secretary is a common stepping stone along that path.
Vinter has strong ties with Netanyahu’s political rival, Minister Naftali Bennett. Yet, despite those ties, Netanyahu is unafraid to appoint Vinter to the job, recognizing his talent and value.
The decision though, is not Netanyahu’s to make, but rather belongs to IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, and he’s only offering Netanyahu the following choices: Yehuda Fuchs (Gaza Division), Yaniv Asor (Golan Division) or Uri Gordin (Reserve Paratroopers Brigade).
In some leftwing and anti-religious circles, Vinter is considered a threat.
He is a proud example of a quality officer produced by the National Religious education system, and he’s not afraid to mention the name of God when inspiring his soldiers in war. He has been harshly criticized by the Reform movement for the inspiring letter he sent to his soldiers as they went off to battle in Gaza on July 9, 2014.
“History has chosen us to be at the forefront of fighting the Gazan terrorist enemy, who is vilifying the God of Israel,” then Colonel Ofer Vinter wrote his soldiers of the Givati Brigade.
The reference to I Samuel 17:26 was not lost on his secular and religious public school graduates: David said to the men standing with him, “What reward will be given to the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine anyway, that he vilifies the armies of the living God?”
The same leftwingers blew perfectly good gaskets when they read further down the same daily order that Vinter told his men: “I look up at the heavens and call out to you, ‘Shema Yisrael, the Lord Is our God, the Lord Is One,’” and then: “God the Lord of Israel, send us success in our paths as we are going to fight for the sake of your people Israel against an enemy that defames you,” and, “Help make come true in us the verse that says: ‘For the Lord your God is walking with you to fight your enemies to redeem you.’”
Reform clergy Uri Regev condemned the God-loving commander for daring to mix his religious faith with his military duties, as did many other anti-Orthodox Israelis in the media. But it didn’t help slow down Vinter’s career. He is simply too talented and valuable. In 2015 he received an Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure prize for creative thinking, for an innovative method devised and implemented under his command to deal with the Gaza Strip terror tunnels.
The job of the military secretary is to liason between the Prime Minister’s office, the IDF, the Mossad, the Shabak, and the Atomic Energy Commission.
Eizenkot served as the military secretary to Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Barak.
Vinter lives in a religious communal village in the lower Galilee. He’s married, a father of eight, and was the youngest division commander ever to become a grandfather.