|Commander of the Israeli Navy|
10 October 2011
|Prime Minister||Benjamin Netanyahu|
|Preceded by||Eliezer Marom|
February 5, 1964 |
Kfar Hess, Israel
|Commands||Commander of the Israeli Navy
Haifa Naval Base
Commander of Flotilla 13
|Battles/wars||*South Lebanon conflict (1985–2000)|
He later served as the Chief of Naval Intelligence during the Second Lebanon War and was reprimanded by then-Chief of Staff Dan Halutz for the 14 July 2006 attack on the Israeli corvette INS Hanit. An Iranian-supplied C-802 anti-ship missile fired by Hezbollah hit the warship, whose crew was apparently unaware that the Lebanese group possessed such weapons. The strike left four sailors dead and the ship temporarily disabled. Rothberg was criticized over his contribution to the failure, but later was promoted to the position of commander of the Navy's Haifa base.
On 4 August 2011, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak approved his appointment as the next head of the Israel Navy, after being nominated by IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz. He is to be promoted in rank to Major General (Aluf). He replaced Vice-Admiral Eliezer Marom, who retired after serving in the IDF for 37 years. He was not the front runner for the post and the appointment was received with surprise by military officials. On 10 October 2011, in a ceremony held at the Haifa naval base, Rothberg entered his role as commander of the Israel Navy.
Rothberg is being investigated for an April Fool's Day joke on 1 April 2012. On that day, Rothberg ordered senior commanders to prepare for a complex, 10-day exercise in Italy with the US and Italian navies. Intending to keep the joke among senior officers, he ordered the news be kept at the senior command level, but the information leaked to lower officers, who worked throughout the night to prepare. Three missile ships and their crews were readied at Haifa naval base, and officers worked to chart a course to Italy. Sailors' parents also rushed to the base to give them supplies and money. By the time Rothberg admitted that it was a joke, the three warships were ready to set sail, and crews were standing at attention on deck.
- "החלפת פיקוד חיל הים" [Exchange of Navy Command] (Press release) (in Hebrew). Israeli Navy. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- Yehoshua, Yossi (March 6, 2014). "בראש הכוח עמדה אח"י חנית שנפגעה בלבנון". Ynet (in Hebrew). Retrieved September 27, 2014.