Monday, December 22, 2014

What's going on in the IDF MAG Corps?

Maj. Gen. Danny Efroni, IDF
This op-ed in Haaretz discusses a current controversy arising out of the handling of sexual misconduct allegations in the Givati Brigade. Along the way it reviews some history of the office of the Military Advocate General (MAG):
The deal that brought [MAG Maj. Gen. Danny] Efroni back from retirement to active service and jumped him two ranks within a year brought to a head a scandal that began around 15 years earlier.
Up until then, the military advocate general held the rank of brigadier general. The IDF, which scorns civilian oversight, says the major-general rank conferred on the military advocate general is the same one given in 1963 to then-chief military rabbi Shlomo Goren and later to his successors Mordechai Piron and Gad Navon, and that if the army wants it can move ranks from one shoulder to another. (After Navon retired, in 2000, the position of chief rabbi was “demoted” to brigadier general).
The IDF has 88 brigadiers general and 24 majors general. It’s interesting that the position given the boost in rank was the military advocate general and not, for example, the chief medical officer, since devoted medical care is assured the top military echelons. They are more concerned with committees of inquiry and the High Court of Justice.
The last military advocate general who wasn’t a major general, Uri Shoham, is now a Supreme Court justice, and he isn’t particularly impressed by the rank or the professionalism of the current military advocate general; twice in six months Shoham reprimanded Efroni in court. Another military advocate general might have resigned in the face of such criticism. Not Efroni.

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