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Israel Must Seize Arab Spring Opportunity

Maj. Gen. (ret. ) Yoav Galant spoke about his fears for Israel’s security, and about how the country should “market” itself, at a conference on Middle East security in Washington on Friday.

On his failed appointment as the Israel Defense Forces chief of staff, Galant has preferred to keep silent, stating only that “one day the full scope of the story will be revealed.” But on Friday, as the speaker at the fifth annual Zeev Schiff Memorial Lecture on Middle East Security, he provided his perspective on events shaking the region, and how Israel should deal with them.

“I believe the Israel Defense Forces is doing a good job”, Galant said. “The most prominent and difficult question is how to keep Israel just, and how to market it. I believe we have an opportunity now – after the world was watching [Syrian President Bashar] Assad killing more civilian Arabs than Israel killed in 60 years – we have to use this opportunity. And we need to be more humble, more solid, to pay more respect to other people, to young generations, because good ideas arise from these generations.”

He also called Assad the last Alawite ruler of Syria, though Galant did not want to predict how long Assad could hold onto power.

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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