The Israeli regime is solemnly bidding farewell to one of the most notorious symbols of its war machine, Gadi Eizenkot (or Eisenkot). The former chief of staff of the Israel “Defense” Forces (IDF) retired last week after engaging in sadistic violence for four decades.
Celebrated inside the Zionist state, Eizenkot has spent much of his life violating the human rights of the Lebanese and Palestinian people. Climbing the IDF career ladder, Eizenkot started out in the Golani Brigade, was a company commander during Israel’s U.S.-supported military invasion of Lebanon in 1982, and served as operations officer and commander during the military occupation of Lebanon (1985-2000). He was promoted to IDF chief of staff in 2015.
In line with Zionism’s general dehumanizing tendencies, Eizenkot’s military strategies criminalized Lebanese and Palestinian existence. He viewed members of both groups as subhumans who needed to be neutralized through military assault. In particular, the so-called Dahiye (or Dahiya) Doctrine outlined by Eizenkot leveraged this perspective to bring death and devastation from Beirut to Gaza. The doctrine, which was named after a Shiite-majority district of Beirut, was first used in Israel’s 2006 assault on Beirut and Southern Lebanon. According to the Goldstone report, submitted to the UN Human Rights Council following Israel’s deadly attack against the Gaza Strip in December 2008-January 2009, the doctrine is based on “the application of disproportionate force and the causing of great damage and destruction to civilian property and infrastructure, and suffering to civilian populations.”
Proud of the destruction his philosophy caused in Lebanon, Eizenkot promised that
[w]hat happened in [Dahiye] will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on. […] We will apply disproportionate force on it and cause great damage and destruction there. From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages, they are military bases. […] This is not a recommendation. This is a plan. And it has been approved.
The Dahiye Doctrine was later incorporated into Israel’s wars against Gaza, including during the 2008-2009 attack.
Eizenkot’s crimes were not, however, limited to developing the Dahiye Doctrine. He oversaw the mass killing of Palestinian protesters during the Great Return March; facilitated the release from prison of IDF combatant Elor Azaria, who was celebrated as an Israeli national hero and political symbol after murdering a helpless Palestinian live on camera; and supported the appointment of the racist misogynist Eyal Krim as the IDF’s chief Rabbi. Krim has rationalized raping women as a weapon of war, and referred to “terrorists” (i.e. Palestinians) as animals and gay people as sick.
More recently, Eizenkot has been involved in “normalizing” relations between Israel and Sunni Arab governments. As the Lebanese daily الأخبار (Al Akhbar) reported in December 2018, Eizenkot secretly visited the UAE and struck a deal with government officials for the sale of Israeli weapons to the country. As reflected in an interview with Saudi newspaper إيلاف (Elaph), Eizenkot has praised the Saudi-Israeli alliance and encouraged intelligence and military cooperation against Iran.
Just before the end of his tenure, Eizenkot made headlines when he openly admitted for the first time that Israel had been providing Syrian opposition groups with weapons.
Inside Israel, Eizenkot is not an extremist. On the contrary, Haaretz praised him as as a moderate public servant who has acted “with honor.” This support for a war monger and criminal speaks volumes about the values and behaviors embraced by Israeli society today.