Photo Credit: Courtesy of Otzma Yehudit
National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir examining assault rifles he was handing standby units in southern communities, October 13, 2023.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir on Monday sent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a letter demanding “Representation in the limited cabinet to a representative who is not from the ‘conceptzia camp.’”

The term “conceptzia” was coined by the Agranat Commission of Inquiry on the failures of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, to the concept formulated by the research division of the IDF Military Intelligence Division in 1971 regarding Egyptian and Syrian threshold conditions for launching an all-out war against Israel. This was based on the testimony of the head of military intelligence Major General Eli Zaira (whose removal the committee eventually recommended), who kept referring to the doctrine that had been presented to him by his researchers regarding the Egyptian war plans as a “conceptzia.”


The essence of the 1973 conceptzia was that Egypt would never dare to attack Israel before it gained sufficient air power to hit deep inside Israeli territory. But what made it such a reviled notion was its prevalence among the entire military and political leadership, to the point where, on the eve of the Yom Kippur War, they ignored and even suppressed vital intelligence that pointed to an imminent Egyptian and Syrian attack.

In October 2023, the conceptzia that overwhelmed the thinking and consequently the military and political leadership decided that Hamas had been deterred, following the 2014 crushing Israeli retaliation, from ever again, or at least for the foreseeable future, attempting a massive attack on Israel. Instead, it can be handled with increased work permits for Gazans, and suitcases full of cash from Qatar.

The 2023 conceptzia was so prevalent that when the high command was told on October 6 of suspicious Hamas movements on the other side of the border fence, they chose to ignore it as yet another show of force, since Hamas had been practicing those fake invasion preparations for several months.

Imagine, the IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, Defense Minister Yoav Galant, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could largely have prevented the massacre had they ordered the soldiers in the 12 military bases along the Gaza envelope to be on high alert on Simchat Torah. It would have cost nothing, the soldiers were already there, all that was required for them to man their tanks and outposts in anticipation of an attack that may or may not come.

Instead, those soldiers stayed in bed, which is where so many of them were slaughtered and kidnapped and their vehicles stolen and set on fire even before the first terrorists had entered the civilian settlements on the border.

A leftist friend of mine wrote me yesterday: “This conceptzia was also created by the Yair Golanim of the world, and by Haaretz newspaper, and Israel Hayom, and Gantz and Eisenkot and Galant, and in many ways by Olmert, and above all by Bibi.”

Which brings us back to Monday’s Ben Gvir letter. When the unity government was established last week, Gantz’s party insisted that while he and Eisenkot would be included in the limited war cabinet (together with Aryeh Deri, by the way), Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich must be kept out. And Netanyahu, with little love lost for his two right-wing allies, approved.

And so, Ben Gvir wrote Bibi: “It is inconceivable that all the ministers of the limited cabinet should be exclusively from the conceptzia camp, those who for years we argued that Hamas was deterred, that the gratuity payments to the terrorist organization would bring peace, those who nurtured the policy of inclusion and spread illusions that led to our current situation. A different voice must be heard, even in the limited cabinet, which is not part of the shattered conceptzia.”

“As far as I’m concerned, you, Mr. Prime Minister, could determine who he would be, provided that a different voice is heard, a voice which was not part of the misconception we have been dragged into for years,” Ben Gvir concluded.

Now we’re waiting for Bibi’s response. If you brought lunch, go ahead and eat. Dinner too, probably. And breakfast. The most important meal of the day, you know.

Itamar Ben Gvir letter to Netanyahu, October 22, 2023. / Screenshot

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