IDF spokesman backs up general denounced by settlers

Yoav Mordechai praises Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, under fire from the right for ‘lenient’ approach to Palestinian protests

Adiv Sterman is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, head of the IDF Central Command, in Tel Aviv, May 13, 2013 (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)
Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, head of the IDF Central Command, in Tel Aviv, May 13, 2013 (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)

IDF spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav (Polly) Mordechai commented Friday on the recent campaign by right-wing representatives against GOC of Central Command Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, calling the attacks “incitement” and expressing concern over the “worrisome” phenomenon.

Posting on his official Facebook page, Mordechai stressed that Alon, despite having come under heavy criticism for what some call a “lenient” approach to Palestinian protests and rock throwing, was not deterred by the smear campaign against him.

“My friend Gen. Nitzan Alon, commander of Central Command, stands at the center of a campaign of incitement which has recently started to worry me personally,” Mordechai wrote.

“He [Alon], on the other hand, is absolutely not worried. He continues to command with wisdom and determination, separating the wheat from the chaff and navigating through the complicated scope of the Central Command in a sensitive manner that preserves the security of our citizens in the best way possible.”

Since being appointed GOC of Central Command last year, Alon and some settlers have clashed numerous times over policy decisions beyond the Green Line. Alon several times expressed his dismay over settlers’ attitudes and activities in the West Bank and has especially opposed “price tag” vandalism and violent incidents in the region.

Some settlers, on the other hand, claimed that the IDF forces under Alon’s command had not done enough to combat acts of violence directed against them by Palestinians, and that his stances on security matters in the West Bank stem from a left-wing political agenda.

Over the past couple of days, hundreds of posters bearing the words “With Nitzan Alon there is no security” were plastered in various locations throughout the West Bank.

Earlier this month, the head of the Samaria Regional Council, Gershon Mesika, blamed Alon directly for lifting restrictions on movement for Palestinians, and thereby, according to Mesika, leading to an increase in terror.

“He who is unable to protect Jews, and is afraid of confronting the Palestinian Authority, will be the hero of mourning Jews,” Mesika stated cynically.

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