The leading candidate for the position of Israel’s national security adviser, former IDF general Ya’akov Amidror, has some novel ideas about military conduct: any soldier who refuses to fight should be shot in the head.
Last year, Amidror participated in a panel on values in the army. “A soldier who won’t attack when they tell him ‘forward’ because he says, ‘Two soldiers to my right and two to my left have been killed, so I won’t move’ – any normal military system should put a bullet in his head,” he said.Later in the discussion, responding to a question from the audience, Amidror said that a soldier should be taught to kill “anyone who hinders him in executing the mission.” When a co-panelist, one of Israel’s most veteran journalists, suggested that the IDF used to tell its soldiers to fight with caution, Amidror snapped. “That’s a totally illegal order,” he replied. “What should be said is ‘kill more of the bastards ton the other side, so that we’ll win.’ Period.”
Approached yesterday by Ha’aretz, Amidror struck a different note. “There are countries where you execute soldiers who refuse to obey the order to charge, and countries where you have them court-martialed,” he said. “We court-martial. I think we should be one of those countries that court-martial.” The better question is whether Israel should be one of those countries where a man of Amidror’s opinions should be allowed anywhere near the decision-making process.