Major General (res.) Yaakov Amidror. (Photo: Shalom Bar Tal)

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Amidst historic and tumultous upheaval underway from Morocco to Libya to Egypt to Iran, Israel’s national security advisor has just stepped down. Filling this position with the right person will be critically important. “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to appoint Major-General (res.) Yaakov Amidror as the new National Security Advisor,” reports the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot on its website. “If selected, Amidror will replace Uzi Arad, who announced his retirement on Sunday. Amidror, the former commander of the IDF’s National Defense College, retired from the IDF in 2002 and has been known in recent years for his hawkish views, including his support for the reoccupation of the Gaza Strip.”

I’ve met General Amidror several times over the years, and interviewed him for my first non-fiction book, Epicenter. I believe he would be a strong choice — he’s smart, experienced, and able to look over the horizon and see future threats clearly. Interestingly, he is a deeply religious Zionist who believes that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is ultimately looking out for State of Israel, along with the IDF. That’s not common among senior Israeli military leaders, but I believe it would be a useful perspective.

Amidror’s views on the Iranian nuclear threat are particularly noteworthy, such what he said at a Washington, D.C. forum on the crisis on Iran in December: “Technically, Israel will be ready [to strike Iran] if and when the decision will be taken….[but] no one is eager for war with Iran….If war with Iran comes, American planes will be used — the question is will it be American pilots or Israeli pilots flying those planes?….It would be a dirty one, a long one, one no one wants to be in….We want to postpone as long as possible….If you ask me for my assessment — and that’s what I have done for 25 years, doing assessments — I believe it is almost impossible to stop Iran without military force.” [Also: To listen to a conference call with Gen. Amdror from Feb 2, 2011 on the revolution in Egypt and its potential impact on Israel]

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