Rishon LeZion, Israel
|Years of service||1980–|
|Commands held||Israeli Northern Command|
Aluf Yair Golan (Hebrew: יאיר גולן) is a major general in the Israel Defense Forces and the former Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces. He was succeeded by Aviv Kochavi as Deputy Chief of General Staff in November 2016.
Golan was drafted into the IDF in 1980. He volunteered as a paratrooper in the Paratroopers Brigade. He served as a soldier and a squad leader and fought in the 1982 Lebanon War. After completing Officer Candidate School he became an infantry officer a and returned to the Paratroopers Brigade as a platoon leader. Golan served as the commander of the Brigade's Anti-tank company and led the 890 Paratroop Battalion in counter-guerrilla operations in the South Lebanon conflict and in the First Intifada. In 1993 he served as a Battalion Commander in IDF Officers' School and afterwords served as Judea and Samaria Division's Operations Branch Officer. Between the years 1996–1997 he Commanded the Eastern brigade of Lebanon Liaison Unit and afterwords served as the head of the Operations section in the Operations Directorate. During the Second Intifada, Golan commanded the Nahal Infantry Brigade. Afterwords he commanded the 91st Division and the Judea and Samaria Division. In the years 2008-2011 Golan served as the Commander of Home Front Command, which he led through Operation Cast Lead. On July 2011he served as the Commander of Israeli Northern Command, and in December 2014 as Deputy Chief of General Staff. Golan was replaced by Aluf Aviv kochavi in May 2017.
Holocaust Day Speech
Golan made a speech on Holocaust Day in 2016 in which some say he draw a parallel between Germany in the 1930s and current day Israel, by saying "If there is one thing that is scary in remembering the Holocaust, it is noticing horrific processes which developed in Europe – particularly in Germany – 70, 80, and 90 years ago, and finding remnants of that here (in Israel) among us in the year 2016." He recognized that sometimes Israeli soldiers were harsh in dealing with Palestinians, and he highlighted the example of Sergeant Elor Azaria being tried over a Hebron shooting incident as evidence that the IDF investigates itself and has high moral standards. His comments drew significant criticism on social media, with Twitter users accusing Golan of "forgetting the lessons of the Holocaust." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the comments "outrageous" and said they "do injustice to Israeli society and create contempt for the Holocaust." Culture Minister Miri Regev called for his resignation, while opposition leader Isaac Herzog praised Golan for exhibiting "morality and responsibility." Later Golan retracted and said that he did not intend to compare Israel to Nazi Germany, releasing a statement in which he said "It is an absurd and baseless comparison and I had no intention whatsoever to draw any sort of parallel or to criticise the national leadership. The IDF is a moral army that respects the rules of engagement and protects human dignity."
- Gal Perl Finkel, Between fire and maneuver, or a combination of the two, The Jerusalem Post, September 06, 2018.
- Gal Perl Finkel, Israel defines redlines for Iran in Lebanon, The Jerusalem Post, February 11, 2018.
- Gal Perl Finkel, IDF promotes officers who think outside the box, but still follow the line, The Jerusalem Post, June 18, 2018.
- "Major General Yair Golan, GOC Homefront Command". Israel Defense Forces. Retrieved 2008-12-28.
- "Top IDF officer Yair Golan compares modern Israel to 1930s Germany in bombshell speech". International Business Times. 2016-05-05.
- "IDF general in bombshell speech: Israel today shows signs of 1930s Germany". Jerusalem Post. 2016-05-04.
- "Netanyahu upbraids top general for 'outrageous' Shoah comparison". Times of Israel. 2016-05-08.
- "Israeli military chief backtracks from 1930s Germany comparison". The Guardian. 2016-05-05.