To American military lawyers who watched with approval as the Army, Navy and Air Force Judge Advocates General became three-star positions, it may come as a surprise to see this story from September about how the position of Military Advocate General of the Israel Defence Force is to be rolled back from two stars to one. Excerpt:
Until Thursday, the given reason that the IDF has stated in the past for lowering the standing rank of the MAG is not specifically related to the MAG or the legal division itself.
Rather, as part of its larger long-term across-the-board cuts to address its ongoing budget problems, referred to as “the Gideon program,” the IDF reduced major generals in several areas of the IDF to brigadier generals and even eliminated some positions entirely.
That is part of what disturbed [Col. (res) Liron] Libman who said that it was problematic that the IDF explained that it made the cuts and demotions in areas which are “not at the heart of military operations.”
Libman stated he was disturbed that the legal division was thrown in with the IDF’s rabbinate and education divisions as less crucial during a time when the IDF is trying to prove its legitimacy to the International Criminal Court.
The former top IDF international lawyer explained that one’s rank in the army “is not just a matter of salary and economic benefits.” Rather, it is a “clear sign” of the “relative importance of the one holding the rank” and “his place in the organization.”Perhaps a reader in Israel can provide an update on this issue. (Real names only, please.)