IDF Chief of staff bids farewell at emotional Knesset meeting

“I saw the role as a great privilege to command and influence the army,” said IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot at a farewell meeting in the Knesset defense committee. 

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Gadi Eizenkot bid farewell at his final meeting as IDF chief of staff with the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday. “I found here a professional, practical, critical but very fair committee. I saw the role as a great privilege to command and influence the army,” he said.

Eisenkot will hand over command of the Israeli army in exactly two weeks to his successor, Aviv Kochavi. “I am doing so with great confidence in his ability to continue advancing the IDF,” Eisenkot said. “The same openness and attention that I have found here, I hope that he will as well, with a sense of partnership for the security of the state.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had earlier granted Eisenkot’s request to extend his tenure for an additional two weeks in order to give Kochavi some on-the-job training.

At the farewell meeting, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein praised Eizenkot for handling a difficult security situation during his tenure. “Over the past four years, we have dealt with a complex security situation in the south and north, a campaign between wars in every sense of the word,” Edelstein said.

“On the public front, unfortunately, you have had to deal with all kinds of statements. With great sorrow, some of them have come out of this house and its surroundings,” Edelstein said. “You have never betrayed your values, and your way of dealing with them has always been a moral one.”