Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Second Lebanon War IDF Commander Udi Adam Resigns

by Yechiel Spira and Ezra HaLevi

Two top IDF generals are resigning. Northern District Commander Udi Adam handed in his resignation Wednesday and Central District Commander Yair Naveh sent his Monday.

Maj.-Gen. Adam is quoted telling his close colleagues that “my conscience in clear,” regarding the war in Lebanon, and his decision is prompted by strained relations with the military’s senior command, including Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz.

During the war, Halutz announced that he had total confidence in Adam and his professional abilities, but nevertheless, decided to appoint Deputy Chief of Staff Moshe Kaplinsky to ‘oversee’ operations in the Northern Command - specifically IDF troops operating in Lebanon.

At the time, all analysts were in agreement, that the move, while not unprecedented, was a ‘slap in the face’ to the senior commander, who has been in the IDF some 30 years. Adam told reporters during the war that while he “has a lot to say, much to get off his chest,” circumstances did not permit that he comment on the events.

Adam recently told associates that he welcomes any inquiry into the war, confident that “the truth will come out,” adding the public will learn what really occurred. Adam seems to welcome an inquiry, stating the deficiencies will be seen by all and the true events will be known.

Strained relations were reported on day one of the war, 12 July, when Adam refused Halutz’s directive to remove Galilee Forces Chief Brigadier-General Gal Hirsch, threatening to quit if Hirsch was dismissed from his post. The situation between the two only deteriorated since.

Some speculate that Adam was being set up by the Chief of Staff and Defense Minister Amir Peretz to take the blame for the confusing orders and equivocation at the war's beginning.

During recent weeks, Adam has held intimate talks with his closest allies, expressing his most inner feelings and thoughts. He has also been making a point to distance himself from the media and it remains to be seen exactly how much the senior commander plans to reveal to the press in the future, as a civilian.

Yair Naveh to Resign
Adam's resignation comes just two days after a letter was delivered to the Chief of Staff regarding the resignation of Cental District Commander Yair Naveh. Rumors have circulated as to the reason’s for Naveh’s resignation, but until now no official explanation has been offered.

During his career as IDF commander of the central region, Naveh oversaw the destruction of four communities in Samaria, as part of Ariel Sharon’s Disengagement Plan.

Naveh, an outwardly religious kippa-wearing Jew, also commanded troops at the hilltop community of Amona, during which hundreds of protestors, including minors, were hospitalized. In addition, the administrative detention orders handed out in Judea and Samaria, jailing Jewish activists without trial, have all been issued by Naveh.

Analysts predict that following his retirement at the year's end, Naveh will have something to say regarding the war in Lebanon, disappointed that the General Staff reportedly failed to consult with him during the war.


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