Maj. Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Brick retired this week after serving as the Israel Defence Forces ombudsman for over a decade. Before his departure, Brick got into a spat with the Israeli military’s top brass after publishing a thorough report suggesting that Israel’s ground forces were grossly unprepared for a major conflict.
Brick continued his barrage of criticism against the military over its allegedly catastrophic readiness levels on Wednesday, the day he was replaced by former defence comptroller Eitan Dahan.
“If there is a war, the trauma of Yom Kippur will be a walk in the park in comparison, Brick said, speaking to Israeli television.
Brick was referring to the October War of 1973 between Israel and a coalition of Arab states, which brought Israel to the brink of defeat and nearly sparked a wider war between the United States and the Soviet Union, whom supported opposite sides in the conflict.
According to the officer, Israel is currently “building the army into a situation where it can give an answer to two threats: Lebanon and Gaza. There seems to have been a change in the Middle East, the Syrians have returned. The main threat that has not been taken into consideration is near us. Our army is built for a region-and-a-half.”
“How do you build an army without taking changes in the Middle East into consideration? It’s irresponsible at a national level,” Brick added.
A Knesset investigation challenged Brick’s findings, concluding late last year that the army was in good shape and that operational preparedness had actually “significantly improved” since the 2014 Gaza war.