For Israeli Defense Minister Lt. Gen. (Res.) Benny Gantz, the height of his historic visit to Morocco this week was a tour of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces base housing the First Infantry Airborne Brigade. It took him back some 40 years to one of his first military postings as commander of the vaunted Israeli Paratroopers Brigade, whose maroon beret he sported on his epaulets to the top post of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The Moroccans welcomed Gantz at the base with great honors, and he himself did not hide his emotions.
An associate of Gantz quoted on condition of anonymity what the minister wrote in the Moroccan unit’s visitors’ log, “Once a paratrooper, always a paratrooper,” adding, “As a former commander of the Israeli Paratroopers Brigade and IDF’s chief of staff, it is a personal honor to visit the First Infantry Airborne Brigade of the Royal Armed Forces. Today we ‘leap together,’ united in our mission to advance a common vision of peace and security for our nations, the region, the world.”