Gadi Eizenkot

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Gadi Eizenkot
Gadi Eizenkot, 2011
Native name גדי איזנקוט
Born 19 May 1960
Tiberias, Israel
Allegiance  Israel
Service/branch Operations Directorate, Northern Command
Years of service 1978–
Rank IDF aluf rotated.svg Aluf (Major-general)
Commands held Commander of the Northern Command, Commander of the Golani Brigade, Military Secretary to the Prime Minister, Commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, Commander of the Operations Directorate

Gadi Eizenkot (Hebrew: גדי איזנקוט‎; born May 19, 1960) is a Major-general in the Israel Defense Forces, who served as the Deputy Chief of General Staff until December 14, 2014.[1] On February 15, 2015, Eizenkot will be sworn in as Chief of Staff of the IDF.

Early life[edit]

Eizenkot was born in 1960 in Tiberias, in northern Israel. He is the second of four children [2] to Ester and Meir Azankot,[3] Jewish Moroccan immigrants from the town of Safi. His mother was born in Casablanca, and his father was born in Marrakesh.

Eizenkot grew up in the southern port city of Eilat, and studied in "Goldwater High School", majoring in naval mechanics, but later chose to enlist to Golani infantry brigade instead.[4]

The origin of his Ashkenazi Jewish-sounding surname, is unclear. According to one opinion, it may have originated from European Jews who migrated to Morocco from Germany in the nineteenth century ('Eisen' means "Iron" in German).[5] (An obvious counterargument for this theory is "Kot" meaning "feces" in the same language.) Second opinion is that it is most likely originated from "Azenkot"/"Azencot", a not-uncommon surname of Berber-Moroccans ('Azankad ' means "deer" in Tamazight -- like the Hebrew first name Tzvi and the German/Yiddish name Hirsch/Hersh, all kinnuim for Naftali deriving from the Blessing of Jacob.).[6]

Military career[edit]

After joining the IDF Eizenkot was assigned to the Golani Brigade, which he himself would eventually command from 1997-98. During that time he received a B.A. in history from Tel Aviv University and attended the United States Army War College for a master's degree.

In 1999 Eizenkot was selected to be the Military Secretary for the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense under then Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Since then he has commanded the 366th Division and the Judea and Samaria Division. He was promoted to head of Israeli Operations Directorate in June 2005.

After Maj. Gen. Udi Adam resigned in October 2006 amid criticism over his conduct in the 2006 Lebanon War, Eizenkot replaced him as head of the Northern Command.[7]

On July 11, 2011, the position was transferred to Maj. Gen. Yair Golan,[8] and Eizenkot went on leave in order to serve as a research fellow in an Israeli think tank, to return as Deputy Chief of General Staff in place of Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh, assuming office on 14 January 2013. On November 28, 2014, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu choose Eizenkot as successor Gen. Benny Gantz. Eizenkot had served as Gantz's deputy[9] and in 2011 insisted that the position be given to Gantz.[10]

Strategic vision[edit]

Eizenkot is credited with being the most prominent exponent of the Dahiya doctrine, a defense strategy which "Israel finally realizes that its enemies should be accountable for their leaders' acts".[11] It is named after Hezbollah stronghold in Beirut during 2006 Lebanon War. The doctrine's premise expressed as follows: "What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on.[12] There would be no mercy shown when it comes to hitting the national infrastructure of a state that, in practice, is controlled by terrorist organization Hezbollah."[11]


  1. ^ "Gadi Eizenkott assumes role of deputy chief of staff", Ynetnews, January 14, 2013. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ "New IDF chief: Cool and calculated, will strike hard and fast - but only if he must. Ynetnews, November 29, 2014.
  5. ^ [3]
  6. ^ Gilad, Elon (1 December 2014). "The Israeli army gets its first Moroccan descendant chief-of-staff - so why the Ashkenazi name?". Haaretz. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  7. ^ "Eisencott replaces Adam as OC Northern Command", Jerusalem Post, October 19, 2006. Retrieved October 21, 2006.
  8. ^ Maj. Gen. Yair Golan becomes new head of Northern Command, IDF site (July 11, 2011).
  9. ^ Yoav Zitun, (November 28, 2014). After long wait, Netanyahu picks Eizencot as next chief of staff. Ynetnews.
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b Yaron London (June 10, 2008). "The Dahiya strategy". Ynetnews. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  12. ^ "Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict". The Guardian. September 15, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-15. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Gadi Eizenkot at Wikimedia Commons