Former MI Chief Labor’s Pick for ‘Next Defense Minister’

January 19, 2015  

Former head of Military Intelligence and Res. Gen. Amos Yadlin has joined the Labor party, Labor announced Monday.

Yadlin has been appointed to the #11 spot, at Labor leader Yitzhak Herzog’s specific request. 

Herzog specifically stated Monday night that “Yadlin is our pick for the next Defense Minister.” 

Yadlin is potentially well-qualified for the position; he serves today as the head of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), after taking the position in 2011.

He previously served as head of Military Intelligence and has completed over 40 years of service in the IDF. He participated in the Yom Kippur War (1973), Operation Peace for Galilee (1982) and Operation Tamuz – the destruction of the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq (1981).

He has also served in several command positions in the Air Force (IAF), including a term as Head of IAF Planning Department from 1990-1993; from 2004-2006, he served as the IDF attaché to the United States; and he was MI head from 2006-2010. 

Yadlin’s direct competition in the event of a rare (and unlikely) combined Labor-Likud government would be Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett, who is reportedly vying for the position in the event of a Likud-led Knesset. 

‘I am devoted to Israel’s security’

On Monday night, Yadlin vowed to stay true to the task.

“All my adult life, and to this day since I joined the IDF, I have been devoted to securing the State of Israel,” Yadlin said in his introductory speech. “I was born in the Zionist and the Zionist Camp [Labor-Hatnua – ed.] is my natural place.”

“I came to strengthen the security of the state and the nation based on the IDF as a strong deterrent, as the strongest power in the Middle East, and with a brave alliance with the United States,” he added. 

Yadlin added that the Middle East is “unstable” and requires “special perspective.” 

However, he said, “beyond the threats we have opportunities, and we need to identify them and promote them.”

“The combination of Iranian officers with Hezbollah militants [attacking] on Syrian land illustrates the complexity of our challenges,” he said. “We must act with responsibility and discretion to protect the security of the state and its citizens and prevent escalation.” 

“The IDF is prepared for any development,” added Yadlin. “From my knowledge as the [past] Chief of Military Intelligence, the Chief of Staff and former chief of staff, I’m counting on the IDF that to deal with every development. I spent long hours with Yitzhak and [Hatnua Chairman Tzipi] Livni in government debates [. . .] where we discussed critical issues the country. I trust them and know that together we can lead the country to a better future.”

Labor MK Shelly Yechimovich hailed the appointment Monday night, stating that Yadlin is well-qualified for the position by any standard and that “beyond that he has political perspective and deep, strategic reasoning.” 

Furthermore, she said, Yadlin’s perspective stems from years of involvement with the Labor party, and his father, Aharon Yadlin, is a pillar of the party’s ideology to this day, and was allegedly one of the most influential Ministers of Education in Israeli history.

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