I am asking for a minute of your time before we pour out the baby with the bath water.
I know Dan Halutz for many years and I have had the privilege of serving under his command on several occasions. Itâ€™s important that you know a number of things that I feel are relevant (and I donâ€™t mean his dog fighting abilities in the air) when you pass judgment and discuss his case among friends and relatives.
A month after he took the office of Air Force Commander, I am sitting at the control room at 7:15 AM, the phone rings and I hear: â€Roni good morning, itâ€™s Dan..â€ It was Halutz asking about some updates and just picked up the phone naturally. Thatâ€™s the man.
Thatâ€™s the man that as he took the position of Air Force commander released his driver and drove himself (by the way, he does the same today most of the time as Chief Of Staff).
This is the man that when he became Chief Of Staff, sent out his personal email address to the entire Air Force. Everyone ! Every single soldier in the air force could write him directly, and usually (if not always) he would personally respond.
Thatâ€™s the man whose door is always open for anyone, ready to hear and listen.
This is the man that encouraged open discussions. Where even a Captain felt he could raise his hand and speak his mind (until the final summary) â€“ because the atmosphere was focused, constructive and to the point.
This is the man that knew all the people serving below him by name.
This is the man that exemplified amazing cognitive capabilities, high intelligence, leadership and charisma. But above all a human being.
A man that never let his position and rank hurt his directness and honesty. A man without a faÃ§ade, straight, honest and fair at a level I have never come across.
At that terrible day, Halutz intended to take care of something he postponed for a very long time, and as part of a list of phones that his secretary had on her desk â€“ she managed to get the man from the bank. Halutz picked up the phone, gave his approval for a second and closed the phone. A mistake or not â€“ thatâ€™s not the point.
We have very few high quality people in Israel â€“ very few! These are out human assets, and we have no others. Yitzhak Rabin was one of them, and he was thrown out in 1974 by Dan Margalit (News Reporter) for a $1,000 in his wifeâ€™s bank account.
It took us 20 critical years until he came back as Prime Minister (until a â€œweedâ€ killed him).
The destruction, the craft and specialty of some news reporters, is immediate. The building up takes years.
These are hard times for us all. Losing proportions and the big picture might be unbearable this time.
Thank you for your time.