Giora Eiland

Giora Eiland

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Giora Eiland is Major General
Aluf is the term used for General and Admiral in the Israel Defense Forces . In addition to the Aluf rank itself, there are four other ranks which are derivatives of the word...

A reservist is a person who is a member of a military reserve force. They are otherwise civilians, and in peacetime have careers outside the military. Reservists usually go for training on an annual basis to refresh their skills. This person is usually a former active-duty member of the armed...

) Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

. Eiland is former Israel's National Security Advisor. He is a senior research associate at the Institute for National Security Studies and holds an M.B.A. and B.A. in economics from Bar Ilan University.

Military Service

Eiland joined the army in 1970, and served in the Paratroopers Brigade Battalion 890. He served in a variety of roles within the brigade: as platoon leader
Platoon leader
A platoon leader or platoon commander is the officer in command of a platoon. This person is usually a junior officer — a second or first lieutenant, or an equivalent rank. The officer is usually assisted by a platoon sergeant...

 (1973 Battle of the Chinese Farm
Battle of The Chinese Farm
The Battle of the Chinese Farm took place during October 15 to October 17, 1973 between the Egyptian Army and the Israel Defense Forces , as part of the Yom Kippur War. It was fought in the Sinai Peninsula, north of the Great Bitter Lake and just east of the Suez Canal...

 in the Yom Kippur War
Yom Kippur War
The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War or October War , also known as the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, was fought from October 6 to 25, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria...

), an operations officer, company commander
Company Commander
A company commander is the commanding officer of a company, a military unit which typically consists of 100 to 350 soldiers, often organized into three or four smaller units called platoons....

 (1976 Operation Entebbe
Operation Entebbe
Operation Entebbe was a counter-terrorist hostage-rescue mission carried out by the Special Forces of the Israel Defense Forces at Entebbe Airport in Uganda on 4 July 1976. A week earlier, on 27 June, an Air France plane with 248 passengers was hijacked by Palestinian and German terrorists and...

), vice-commander of a battalion (1978 Operation Litani
Operation Litani
The 1978 South Lebanon conflict was an invasion in Lebanon up to the Litani River carried out by the Israel Defense Forces in 1978. It was a military success for the Israeli Defense Forces, as PLO forces were pushed north of the river...

), commander of 50 "Baselet" Airborne Battalion
Nahal is an Israel Defense Forces infantry brigade. Historically, it refers to a program that combines military service and establishment of new agricultural settlements, often in outlying areas...

 (1982 First Lebanon War) and reserve commander of the Paratroopers Brigade.

Following First Lebanon War Eiland served as commander of Infantry Officers School of the Chief Officer of Infantry Corps (Israel). In 1984 Eiland completed the Advanced Infantry Course at Fort Benning
Fort Benning
Fort Benning is a United States Army post located southeast of the city of Columbus in Muscogee and Chattahoochee counties in Georgia and Russell County, Alabama...

, Georgia, United States
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

. After his return to Israel he was appointed as Operations Directorate officer in the Infantry Corps (Israel). In the years 1990-1992 he commanded the IDF Officers School (Training Base 1), and in the years 1992-1993 was the commander of the Givati Brigade
Givati Brigade
The Givati Brigade is an infantry brigade of the Israel Defense Forces, and serves as its amphibious force. Givati soldiers are designated by purple berets...


At 1993 Eiland was appointed as the Chief Officer of Infantry Corps (Israel)  in the rank of Brigadier General
Brigadier General
Brigadier general is a senior rank in the armed forces. It is the lowest ranking general officer in some countries, usually sitting between the ranks of colonel and major general. When appointed to a field command, a brigadier general is typically in command of a brigade consisting of around 4,000...

. In 1996 Eiland was appointed Head of Operations Division in Operations Directorate, and in 1999 he was appointed Head of Operations Directorate in rank of Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

. In this role he was involved in preparations for the IDF withdrawal from Lebanon
Liberation Day (Lebanon)
Liberation Day is a holiday in Lebanon on May 25.On May 25, 2000, the Israeli army withdrew from territory in Southern Lebanon after 22 years of occupation. The United Nations certified that the withdrawal was complete, with troops having left territory demarcated by the Blue Line...

 and also in conflict with the Palestinians ( Second Intifada ). In 2001 he was appointed head of the Planning Directorate. Still an army officer, Eiland took part in the political process, during the Israeli–Palestinian Peace Process and was appointed to accompany the Foreign Minister Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
GCMG is the ninth President of the State of Israel. Peres served twice as the eighth Prime Minister of Israel and once as Interim Prime Minister, and has been a member of 12 cabinets in a political career spanning over 66 years...

, in his talks with Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

. Eiland also represented the Israeli security forces
Israeli Security Forces
Security forces in Israel include a variety of organizations, including law enforcement, military, paramilitary, governmental, and intelligence agencies.-Military:...

 in talks with U.S., Palestinian and other officials. In 2003, with the end of his term in the Planning Directorate, Eiland rejected an offer to become IDF attache in Washington
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, and retired from the army after 33 years of service.

National Security Council

Eiland left the Planning Directorate and the IDF to accept, in January 2004, Sharon's offer that he head the National Security Council (NSC). Eiland was the fourth NSC head in the six years of the Council existence, previous - David Ivri, Uzi Dayan
Uzi Dayan
Uzi Dayan is an Aluf in the Israel Defense Forces and an Israeli politician. He is the nephew of General Moshe Dayan.-Early life and career:...

, and Ephraim Halevy
Ephraim Halevy
Efraim Halevy is a lawyer and an Israeli intelligence expert. He was the ninth director of Mossad and the 4th head of the Israeli National Security Council.Above all, he is remembered for his part in bringing about the peace treaty with Jordan...

 - could not penetrate the walls around the Prime Minister office. However, contrary to Dayan and Levy, whose terms were marked by worsening relations with Prime Minister Sharon, Eiland had a constructive working relationship with the PM, despite their practical disagreements.

In early 2003, a few weeks after his retirement from the army and arrival to the NSC, Eiland became aware of Sharon's disengagement initiative
Israel's unilateral disengagement plan
Israel's unilateral disengagement plan , also known as the "Disengagement plan", "Gaza expulsion plan", and "Hitnatkut", was a proposal by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, adopted by the government on June 6, 2004 and enacted in August 2005, to evict all Israelis from the Gaza Strip and from...

 - at that stage the initiative had more limited objectives in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 and broader in the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

. Eiland agreed that a political initiative was needed, but objected to both the content of Sharon's proposal and to the procedure for preparing and presenting it. In 2004 Eiland took part in drawing up the disengagement plan in close consultations with US Advisors among them National Security Council
United States National Security Council
The White House National Security Council in the United States is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and Cabinet officials and is part of the Executive Office of the...

 Middle East Advisor Elliott Abrams
Elliott Abrams
Elliott Abrams is an American attorney and neoconservative policy analyst who served in foreign policy positions for two Republican U.S. Presidents, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. While serving for Reagan and in the State Department, Abrams, Paul Wolfowitz, and retired U.S. Marine Corps officer...

. Eiland shuttled with Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon is an Israeli statesman and retired general, who served as Israel’s 11th Prime Minister. He has been in a permanent vegetative state since suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006....

's Chief of Staff, between Washington
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 and Jerusalem to hammer up successive drafts. It was Eiland 's initiative to establish Disengagement Authority and set a realistic schedule program. The plan, as adopted by the Israeli Government and the Knesset
The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

, is largely a result of Eiland's formulation.
During the year 2005 there were reports in the media about Eiland's criticism of the policy and national security decision-making process. After conclusion of the implementation of the disengagement plan, Eiland informed Prime Minister that he had exhausted his ability to influence the process and he decided to resign from NSC. On 1 June 2006 he was replaced as head of NSC by former deputy head of the Mossad
The Mossad , short for HaMossad leModi'in uleTafkidim Meyuchadim , is the national intelligence agency of Israel....

, Ilan Mizrahi.

After retiring from the Council

In 2010 Eiland headed team of experts examining the preparations and in the actual boarding of the Gaza flotilla raid
Gaza flotilla raid
The Gaza flotilla raid was a military operation by Israel against six ships of the "Gaza Freedom Flotilla" on 31 May 2010 in international waters of the Mediterranean Sea...

. Eiland presented the report to the chief of staff, Gabi Ashkenazi
Gabi Ashkenazi
Gavriel "Gabi" Ashkenazi , was the Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defence Forces from 2007 to 2011.- Background and early life :...

on July 12, 2010.

On May 29, 2011, Eiland said on Kol Yisrael Radio that in his view it would be better for Israel to let the next flotilla - expected to set out in late June 2011 - get through to Gaza, provided that the Government of Turkey would be willing to take responsibility for the flotilla, inspect all ships and make sure they were not carrying arms.