Skip to main content

IDF rabbis find easy road to politics

The choice of former Chief IDF Rabbi Rafi Peretz as head of HaBayit HaYehudi shows the religious political right has discovered the potential that lies in the combination of a high military rank and a senior rabbinical authority.
Read in 

A retired general well acquainted with Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi praised his recent appointment as IDF chief of staff. “The only thing that concerns me is that Aviv Kochavi aspires to become prime minister,” he told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. He explained that if this indeed is the case, Kochavi might be tempted to try pleasing the crowd in a way that will affect his decisions as chief of staff.

Such a thing has happened before. Since the founding of the state in 1948, almost every second IDF chief has gone into politics after shedding his uniform. The chair of the Israel Resilience party, Lt. Gen. (res.) Benny Gantz, is No. 11 on the list. But experience has shown that a successful military career does not always translate into a successful political one — as in the case of Lt. Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Rabin’s first term as prime minister and Lt. Gen. (res.) Ehud Barak.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.