Israel's Palace Coup Plotters
By CAROLINE B. GLICK
Israel today faces the most daunting and complex threat spectrum it has ever seen.
On Monday, saboteurs bombed the Egyptian gas pipeline to Israel for the third time since former president Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in February. The move was just another reminder that Israel today faces the most daunting and complex threat spectrum it has ever seen.
From Egypt to Turkey to Iran to the international Left to the Obama administration, Israel faces a mix of military and political challenges that threaten its very existence on multiple levels. To meet these challenges, it is vital for the government and people of Israel to stand strong, unified and determined. The approaching storm will test our resilience as we have never been tested before.
Unfortunately, even if the government is competent, and even if the nation stands strong, there is reason to fear that Israel will fail to successfully withstand the dangers gathering against it. Unelected, unrepresentative and irresponsible senior government officials are liable to take actions that undermine the government’s ability to protect the country and weaken the public’s morale and unity of purpose.
Over the past week, we received two reminders of how dire the situation is. The first reminder relates to institutional impediments to the government’s freedom of action in preventing Iran from fielding a nuclear arsenal.
Since the beginning of his first term as prime minister 15 years ago, Binyamin Netanyahu has consistently warned that the greatest dangers Israel faces stem from the forces of global jihad generally and the Iranian regime and its nuclear program specifically. After taking office for the second time in 2009, Netanyahu made blocking Iran’s rise to nuclear power his top priority. He ordered the heads of the Mossad and the IDF to prepare plans to attack Iran’s nuclear installations.
Last Friday, Haaretz reported that former Mossad chief Meir Dagan and former IDF chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi refused to obey his order. Rather than prepare strike plans, Dagan and Ashkenazi warned that such a strike would foment a regional war. That is, rather than do their jobs, they made excuses for failing to fulfill their duty to obey Israel’s elected leadership.
Not wanting to take them on directly, Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak decided to wait them out. Dagan and Ashkenazi were both set to finish their terms at the beginning of the year, and Netanyahu and Barak figured they could replace them with commanders who would abide by the government’s wishes. Specifically, Barak and Netanyahu believed that by replacing Ashkenazi with his deputy Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant, they would have a military leader willing and able to take on the central challenge of preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power.
Barak announced last August that Galant would replace Ashkenazi as IDF chief in January. Galant’s appointment was approved by the government and by the Senior Appointments Commission. But in late January, the government was forced to cancel it. And this week we received new indications that Galant’s appointment fell victim to what has been likened to a palace coup. That is, the government was denied its right to choose its military leader by a group of senior officials who deliberately usurped that power from the government.
Read how the coup was fomented, and by who, HERE
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