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The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2017

GOVERNMENT

Gadi Eizenkot

IDF chief of staff

Descriptions of IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot always seem to involve words like modest, straightforward, honest, restrained, and principled.

Born in Tiberias, the 57-year-old Eizenkot rose through the ranks from a commander in the elite Golani paratroops brigade to head of the Northern Command. There, he oversaw the rebuilding of the northern front after the inconclusive 2006 war with Hezbollah. With the Hezbollah danger always in mind, Eizenkot was chosen chief of staff in 2014.

“No one is more worthy of this role than he is at this time," said fellow general Giora Inbar. “Gadi is an honest man, who is not afraid to speak his mind in public, and will always say what he thinks and act according to what he sees as right.”

Eizenkot proved as much in 2017, when he faced down public controversy by commenting on an IDF soldier charged with murdering a neutralized Palestinian terrorist. “An 18-year-old man serving in the army is not ‘everyone’s child,’” he said. “He is a fighter, a soldier, who must dedicate his life to carry out the tasks we give him. We cannot be confused about this.” (Photo credit: IDF.)

GOVERNMENT

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