Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
Ynet Published: 01.17.07, 02:51
I have recently fulfilled 40 years of service in the IDF. During this long
period, I have had the privilege of serving this country, my country, my
homeland. In my eyes, this is the loftiest mission - to defend the peace and
security of the State of Israel.
I fought with my brothers in arms in the ranks of the IDF in all the arenas.
Every time I was called up for an assignment, I fulfilled it with a sense of
mission. I acted out of considerations in accordance with morality, loyalty,
integrity, authenticity, and affection.
During my long stay with the IDF, I had the privilege to command excellent
people, and I saw the IDF advance and develop, because of these same people,
capabilities and achievements that have placed it among the leading armies
of the world.
For me, the word 'responsibility' has a weighty meaning: It is the essence
of everything, from A to B. From confidence to investigation. My conception
of responsibility is what led me to remain in my post until now, and to lay
this letter on the desk today.
The day I won the confidence of the government headed by Mr. Ariel Sharon
upon receiving the post of chief of staff on June 1, 2005, I took upon
myself a great responsibility.
The essence of this responsibility was expressed in the fighting in Lebanon
in the summer of 2006 and after it. When the battle was over, I decided to
exercise my responsibilities to the fullest according to the best of the
traditions from home and my army service. Accordingly, I ordered a full
investigation of the fighting in a manner that is unmatched in the history
of the IDF: a profound, deep, and detailed investigation, that didn't pass
Today, after the investigative process has been completed in the IDF, and
after a draft has been set for applying the lessons of the investigation in
the framework of the IDF's 2007 working plan, I feel a sense of pride for
having completed what I set as a goal for myself at the end of the war in
Lebanon, and I exhausted my responsibility. After these deep processes, I
trust that the IDF will be prepared for the challenges that lay ahead.
The investigations made me see what needed to be done in order to correct
what needed correcting and to maintain and improve the areas in which we
succeeded. One of the central things were learned from the investigations is
that the IDF system is deeply affected by long-term processes. Often, this
influence is not detected, and we are not aware of the extent of its
consequences. These processes have implications for the Israeli society, in
general, and overall military capabilities, in particular.
The State of Israel has, unfortunately, been sentenced to continue fighting
for its existence. The capability to ensure our success in this continuing
battle starts and ends with our power. This power, at its foundation, is
built on values, on quality education, on a strong economy, and, above all,
a strong IDF.
The IDF's power is built first and foremost on the quality of its members,
and only afterwards on the resources allotted it to fulfill its missions. We
must remember that the IDF's achievements in the war in Lebanon, and in
other arenas, was achieved by a large group of fighters and commanders in
compulsory service and reserve service who are prepared to be called to the
flag at any moment. The IDF's resilience stems from the public support it
enjoys. Unfortunately, this last area of support has eroded in recent years.
I believe, Mr. Prime Minister, that we must protect at any cost the respect
and heritage of the IDF, and to leave it outside the political battles.
It is human nature not to want to serve in a system that isn't valued and
which isn't protected by its dispatchers. We must ensure that we don't
arrive at a situation in which quality people hesitate to tie their fate and
future to the IDF. Nothing will help us then, not the good education, and
not the strong economy. There is danger that the threats on the State of
Israel will become more tangible.
The IDF is a very moral army, such as there is none other like it. Its
heritage is replete with pages of bravery stained with the blood of the sons
and daughters of the country who have fallen along the way. Their memories
will accompany us always.
I hope that we will be able to return the kidnapped, captive, and missing
soldiers quickly to the country for which we are fighting. The meetings with
the bereaved families will be in my heart forever. Even during these
difficult and complex times for them, they continue to support and encourage
the IDF and its commanders.
I am forever ingratiated to the defense minister under whom I served, and
thank the IDF General Staff who were full partners in thought and in
practice. I give special thanks to the commanders and soldiers of the IDF
compulsory and reserve service, and to all the employees of the IDF who
carry the daily burdens.
You, sir, I wish to thank for your support and backup, and to wish you
success in handling the complex challenges facing the nation, and you as
In order to guide and to lead, we must take responsibility. As such, after I
have finished my task for this era, here I announce to you that I intend to
immediate terminate my post as chief of staff.
I salute the IDF and its fighters.
And stand at your service always,
Danny Halutz, Lieutenant General, Chief of Staff
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2007/01/cos-halutzs-letter-of-resignation-to-pm.html. Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.