“Red with Shame”: top IDF officer submits Chief of Staff strong-worded report on corruption and value erosion in the Israeli army

The Chief of Staff received an additional report, about the US army – which he ordered to be distributed to relevant parties, contrary to the IDF report. IDF spokesperson: “We will not elaborate on private conversations between the Chief of Staff and his subordinates”

“Red with Shame”: top IDF officer submits Chief of Staff strong-worded report on corruption and value erosion in the Israeli army

The "Red with Shame" report, as exclusively obtained by Israel Defense

The special report written for IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, is titled “Red with shame: On the problem of corruption and values in the IDF.” The report was authored by one of the Paratroopers Brigade, Col. Alon Madanes. Madanes was the commander of the 101 battalion and the commander of the Bar’am brigade on the Israel-Lebanon border, and later was appointed IDF ground forces attaché to the US, a position he held until recently.

According to an Israel Democracy Institute report published last week, the Israeli public’s faith in the IDF has greatly eroded. Revealing the existence of the “Red with Shame” report here does not come at the best time for military.

Madanes’ “Red with Shame” report deals with suspicions of corruption in the IDF and in the Israeli defense system and industries, with operational failures and also with issues related to moral values and a morbid organizational culture, including commanders’ fears of expressing independent positions.

The report was written a few months after a poignant anonymous letter written against the appointment of the new IDF Technology and Logistics division. Then-deputy Chief of Staff, General Eyal Zamir, conducted an investigation that revealed that the letter’s author was Brig. Gen. Nissan Davidi, head of the “Alon” Coronavirus Command Center. Davidi had to retire from service after an official reprimand.

The Madanes document is different for the IDF top brass, since it was written in a “restricted and censored” distribution to the Chief of Staff. As far as known, it was presented to the Chief of Staff during a private meeting held recently. Kochavi did not keep the report – which is very detailed and includes at least three volumes – in his bureau.  

In addition to “Red with Shame”, Madanes also presented the Chief of Staff with five volumes of lessons he learned from the US Army during his service there. Unlike the “Red with Shame”  hot potato, the US report was distributed among various IDF entities.

Col. Madanes had already made headlines some two-and-a-half years ago, following his service at Chief Operations Officer for the IDF Central Command. Ynet website exposed Madanes’ harsh criticism Madanes against suspicions of corruption and moral degradation in the IDF, which he put in writing in a letter he sent to the Head of the Central Command.

Additional details and commentary regarding “Red with Shame” will be published in the coming days on Israel Defense, and in my column on Thursday.

IDF spokesperson submitted the following response: “Over the summer, Colonel Alon Madanes returned from assignment in the US. The officer compiled into five volumes professional and unclassified documents he had written during said assignment. The volume’s content deals with the US Army and does not express any criticism against the IDF. The volumes were distributed among the Ground Force Command and to the attaché office in Washington, DC, the Chief of Staff and his deputy.

The mentioned critical document was not viewed by the Chief of Staff. The officer recently had a personal meeting with the Chief of Staff. We will not elaborate on private conversations between the Chief of Staff and his subordinates.”

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