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June 1, 2016 1:57 pm

New Israeli Defense Minister Takes Office, Plans to Work ’24/7′

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Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman (left) and IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot at IDF headquarters on Tuesday. Photo: Israeli Defense Ministry.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman (left) and IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot at IDF headquarters on Tuesday. Photo: Israeli Defense Ministry.

JNS.org – Newly appointed Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman sought to convey a message of unequivocal support to the General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Tuesday, telling the officers that the IDF and its commanders “are the widest consensus in Israeli society, and that is the military’s greatest asset.”

“Israel is the only country in the world were the phrase ‘the people’s army’ is not a cliche but a reality,” Lieberman said at the IDF’s headquarters in Tel Aviv. “Even now, the majority of fighting forces comprise reservists, meaning civilians. This is why the IDF’s position and role in Israeli society is far more significant than the roles played by other militaries, and its missions are far more diverse.”

Lieberman stressed that “when there is a conflict between the unity of the nation and the unity of the land, the unity of the nation is of greater importance.”

“I believe in diplomatic pragmatism and military power,” he said. “I come here with an open mind and I plan to work 24/7. I would like to thank my predecessor, [Moshe] Ya’alon, and while I disagreed with him many times, he has many credits and he contributed greatly to Israel’s security. I plan of fully cooperating with [IDF] Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot and the General Staff, and I’m sure that together, we will keep Israel safe and secure.”

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