Photo Credit: COGAT
Maj. Gen. Yoav (Poli) Mordechai, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), with Director-General of the World Health Organization Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus. (2018)

The head of the Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, appealed on Thursday to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman to change the name of the IDF unit known as Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) to Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories in Judea and Samaria (COGAYOSH).

Dagan sent his letter following a request from the NGO Combat Doctrine for the IDF, to help promote the change.


The NGO suggested the change is needed, even if it’s late: “Clearly, the IDF, which is a Jewish army in a Jewish state that educates generations of fighters to love the people and the land, should not refer to the homeland using the political term ‘territories,’ but instead use the historical names Judea and Gaza, which are also the names of the existing IDF regional divisions – especially as we are marking 70 years since the establishment of the state and 50 since the liberation of Judea and Samaria.”

Dagan wrote Netanyahu and Liberman that “the term ‘occupied territories’ is incorrect, since these are areas in which Biblical events took place. The places that are the foundation of our right to the land are Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.”

Dagan argued that “it is inappropriate for the IDF to take a stand on a clearly political issue, even ostensibly. To this we must add the fact that nowadays the government of Israel and even the US administration see the settlement in Judea and Samaria as an inseparable part of the State of Israel.”

“It is therefore puzzling that there is no congruence between the government’s policy on this issue and the IDF’s,” Dagan wrote, concluding his letter with a demand to “immediately change the name of the unit and its head as should have been done long ago.”


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