A disarming interview

IDF chief talks beliefs, favorite emojis and coffee sins in holiday clip

Gadi Eisenkot also discusses plans for post-army trip and his honed clothes-changing skills in army video

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot drinks coffee during an interview, September 6, 2018 (Facebook video screenshot)
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot drinks coffee during an interview, September 6, 2018 (Facebook video screenshot)

Outgoing IDF chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot loves the sunglasses emoji, can change out of his uniform in less than 20 seconds and drinks way too much espresso coffee.

Those are some of the factoids gleaned from a festive interview conducted with the army head for the upcoming Rosh Hashanah holiday.

Eisenkot told his interviewers, two paratroopers, that his main concern was maintaining the IDF’s strength and deterrence to Israel’s enemies.

In the Hebrew-language video, he praised the work of army forces guarding the Gaza Strip border, saying he had spent many Fridays there in recent months as Palestinians rioted along the security fence.

“It was very impressive seeing the battalions operate around the clock,” he said.

Eisenkot also spoke on his belief that a commander should always do what he believes is right, not what is popular or convenient.

However, the interview mostly focused on providing some familiarity with the IDF chief.

הרמטכ"ל כמו שאף פעם לא ראיתם

ראש בראש עם האיש שבראש – הרמטכ"ל כמו שאף פעם לא ראיתם

Posted by ‎צה"ל – צבא ההגנה לישראל‎ on Friday, September 7, 2018

Asked how he took his coffee, Eisenkot smiled and said that was “a serious problem.” Having spent most of his life drinking black coffee (as befitting a tough boots-on-the-ground Israeli trooper), he said he had in recent years “gone bourgeois” and now drinks espresso. “I drink a lot of coffee, I believe more than 10 cups a day.”

Emoji with sunglasses

Asked which emoji he used most, Eisenkot answered without hesitating: “the one with the sunglasses.” On the first thing he does upon arriving home: “I change clothes in about 18 seconds.”

Eisenkot noted that he had been in the army for 40 years, having been drafted in 1978. On his plans for the customary post-army trip abroad when his term ends in December, the IDF chief said he would consult with his daughter, who has just returned form Laos.

He said he would spend the upcoming holiday at home. “As we do on every holiday, we will invite lone soldiers,” who have no families in Israel, to join in.

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