This month perhaps Israel’s quietest but most influential soldier suddenly quit his job.
Gen. Ofir Shoham, an early graduate of the IDF’s elite Talpiot unit, will leave as head of the Israeli army’s powerful MAFAT division after six extremely successful years. MAFAT is a Hebrew acronym that when translated into English stands for The Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure.
Shoham’s departure was quickly followed by another blow to the IDF – the American decision to cut back on key missile defense funding in the United States and for programs the US helps fund in Israel.
The timing of the US cuts is regrettable as the capability of missiles developed by both Iran and North Korea is advancing and their production numbers are increasing. According to the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency overall funds earmarked for anti-missile defense will fall in 2017 by a projected 10 percent.