The National Security Roundtable

cordially invites its MEMBERS to a Cocktail Reception, Briefing & Discussion with

Lieutenant General (ret.) Gabi Ashkenazi
Israel Defense Forces (IDF)

19th Chief of Staff of the IDF

"Shifting Sands of the Middle East"

Monday, April 30, 2012
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

The Harmonie Club
4 East 60th Street
New York, NY


After a distinguished military career spanning 40 years in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Lieutenant General (ret) Gabi Ashkenazi retired from active military service in 2011 as the 19th Chief of Staff of the IDF.

General Ashkenazi began his military career in 1972, in Israel’s elite Golani Infantry Brigade. He fought in the Sinai Peninsula during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and in 1976 was a platoon commander in the force that carried out Operation Thunderbolt, a mission to rescue hostages held in Uganda (he did not participate in the battle at Entebbe Airport). General Ashkenazi's first of many experiences in Lebanon came in 1978, during Operation Litani. Wounded in the fighting, he left the IDF, but was asked to return two years later as a battalion commander.

During the 1982 Lebanon War, General Ashkenazi served as Deputy Commander of the elite Golani Brigade, and in 1986 was promoted to Commander. He held several senior command positions during his years of service, including Commander of the Liaison Unit to Lebanon; Operations Officer of IDF Northern Command; Deputy Head of IDF Operations Directorate; Head of IDF Northern Command, and Deputy Chief of Staff of the IDF.

After retiring from the IDF in 2005, General Ashkenazi was appointed Director General of the Ministry of Defense. However, following the Second Lebanon War (summer 2006), he was called back to duty and sworn in as Chief of the General Staff of the IDF (February 2007). Under his command, the IDF went through a process of identifying and repairing weaknesses that manifested in the Second Lebanon War, regaining its reputation and deterrent power. At the end of 2008/early 2009, General Ashkenazi commanded Operation Cast Lead, during which the IDF again fought terrorist organizations in Gaza, headed by Hamas. He was awarded the U.S. Legion of Merit (Degree of Commander) in 2008 by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen on behalf of the President of the U.S.

In February 2011, General Ashkenazi retired from the IDF. He currently serves as Chairman of Shemen Oil and Gas Resources Ltd., an Israel-based oil and gas exploration company.