Defense Minister Ehud Barak today appointed as new IDF deputy chief of staff, Maj. Gen Yair Naveh. Naveh is notorious for ordering targeted assassinations of unarmed Palestinian militants in defiance of a Supreme Court ruling, then lying about it. His command also observed such slipshod security arrangements that Anat Kamm easily managed to copy several hundred secret documents which she passed on to Uri Blau. In most other self-respecting western militaries, Naveh would have faced disciplinary charges for such a lackadaisical approach. Finally, Naveh has been director general of the Jerusalem light rail project, who polled Jerusalem residents about their interest in practicing gender segregation on the new mass transit system. When the poll came to light, Naveh defended the notion:
“The train was built to serve everyone,” Naveh said in defense of his proposal, adding, “I think it is necessary to create alternatives for everyone.” In his view, “It is not a problem to declare every third or fourth car a mehadrin [super-kosher] car.”
Now, can we say that this surprises us given the IDF’s record of wholesale violation of Supreme Court rulings and Palestinian human rights? No. Barak himself is a willing participant in this system and has personally murdered unarmed Palestinians in their beds himself. But I must say it does give one pause. Is this the image that Israel wishes to project to the world? Of naming to a top command someone who is a cold blooded killer and law-breaker, who practices virtually non-existent security procedures in his own office, and who is willing to violate the civil rights of women to curry favor with the ultra-Orthodox who make up a significant portion of Jerusalem’s population?
I look forward to a time when Naveh is brought before the Hague and perhaps Barak will be joining him there along with Palestinian militants who’ve killed Israeli civilians in cold blood. They deserve each other.