IDF Cuts Slash Budgets for Army Rabbinate and Career Officers

November 11, 2015

2 min read

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot has decided on budget cuts of 6% affecting the censor, military rabbinate, military prosecution and the scouts unit. Division 162 will move to the Southern Command and the Givati Brigade will become part of it. Also, by 2017, the number of career military personnel will be down to 40 thousand. And he wants to get out of radio broadcasting.

“As part of the multi-year plan, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot has decided on dramatic cuts in the IDF,” a senior military officer told Walla on Tuesday. “The cuts will take place in different parts of the army, including the military censorship unit, the Rabbinate and the Department of Behavioral Sciences. In addition, the Military Prosecution budget would be cut, and 25% of the Finance Adviser to the Chief of Staff’s budget will be slashed. The same percentage will be cut from the Army’s Scouts unit.” The senior officer added that “300 career military security drivers will be replaced by enlisted drivers.”

Eisenkot has also decided to accelerate the creation of an independent cyber branch, and a Commando Brigade to run special forces units Maglan, Duvdevan, Egoz and Rimmon.

As to the Army Radio station, the officer told Walla that “the chief of staff wants to take the Army Radio out of the army – but not to close down the station.”

Galei Tzahal, known in Israel by its acronym Galatz, broadcasts news, music, traffic reports and educational programs to the general public as well as entertainment and military news magazines for soldiers. Galatz was the first radio station in Israel to drop the formal, stilted Hebrew that was used on radio, and use colloquial Hebrew on air. But over the years there have been constant complaints, mostly from the right, that the station was taken over by a leftist junta, to the point where some Army Radio shows were extremely anti-Zionist and, in effect, anti-Army.

The senior officer leaking to Walla emphasized that “the military is committed to reducing the number of career military personnel to 40 thousand by 2017 — and we are on our way to getting there.” The officer noted that “these are very complex, and not simple moves. Two years ago we had 45 thousand career soldiers, and you have to remember that each of them has a family.” He pointed out that “in the IDF today there’s the lowest number of career military since 2009.”

Contrary to the previous chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, who threatened to stop military training because of budgetary constraints, Eisenkot has stated categorically that training on land, sea and in the air will continue at all costs. “I don’t care how we do it — the IDF will not stop practicing,” he said.

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