Yitzhak Gershon

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Major General (Res.) Yitzhak (Jerry) Gershon is National Director and CEO of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF). Gershon has spent more than 32 years in the Israeli military. According to FIDF, much of his service was spent in Lebanon and "Judea and Samaria" (the West Bank):

"Gen. Gershon coordinated numerous special operations during the first Lebanon War and the “Defensive Shield” operation during the second Intifada, and led the Home Front Command in the second Lebanon war."

Gershon became the National Director and CEO of FIDF in November 2008. Gershon completed a BA and MA in Political Science (minor in Middle East studies) at Haifa University. He is a graduate of the British Royal College of Defense Studies in London. [1]


Commenting with regard to the FIDF's facilitation of the arrival of new 'lone soldiers' to Israel, Gershon remarked in January 2015:

They are coming because of their sense of responsibility...They understand the importance of the State of Israel, not just for Jews but for the free world. We are fighting radical movements who seek to destroy.[2]

During Operation Cast Lead Gershon commented in relation to the FIDF's 'FIDF Frontline Operation':

As Israeli ground forces enter the Gaza Strip and launch the second stage of Operation 'Cast Lead' aimed at fighting the Hamas terrorist organization and its infrastructure in the Gaza strip, it is imperative that the American Jewish Community stands side-by-side with these brave young men and women who are risking their lives to protect our Jewish homeland...

The Frontline Operation was the FIDF's effort to raise funds for soldiers engaged in the operation.[3]

Home Front Command

Gershon was appointed the new commander of the Home Front Command in December 2004.[4] During the second Lebanon war Gershon urged Lebanese civilians to leave south Lebanon.[5] Gershon and the Home Front Command was heavily criticised by Micha Lindenstrauss, the Israeli State Comptroller in the wake of the conflict. In December 2007 it was announced that Gershon would be replaced by Brig.-Gen. Yair Golan. Gershon reportedly requested to be relieved of his command.[6] In March 2007, whilst still in command, Gershon petitioned the Israeli High Court to block Lindenstrauss from presenting interim findings from his investigation into the government and military's handling of the home front during the conflict to the Knesset State Control Committee. [7]

Operation Defensive Shield

Gershon was commander of Israeli forces in the West Bank during Operation Defensive Shield (29 March–3 May 2002). During the operation Gershon was quoted as saying that 'there is no target that is off-limits'.[8] In April 2002 troops under Gershon's command arrested Marwan Barghouti, then leader of the Tanzim, the military wing of Fatah.[9]

In March 2002 Gershon accused Palestinian militants of using ambulances to transport weapons and fighters. [10]

In February 2002 Gush Shalom wrote to Gershon informing him that his actions in invading the cities of the West Bank might constitute war crimes:

Today you said clearly in a radio interview, that killing armed Palestinians, is one of the major targets of the 'operation' carried out under your command. You bragged that your soldiers have already killed 20 'armed Palestinians', but apparently, many of these were innocent civilians, amongst them children and elderly people. You and your officers also admitted to a new method of breaking through walls of Palestinian homes, in order to let your forces pass through these homes. Israeli media claims that your forces 'spray with fire' the houses they enter. this, too, may cause many civilian casualties in the camps. your interview in the radio, alongside other evidence, are all collected, and might be used by an Israeli court of law, or an International war crime tribunal.[11]


  1. FIDF Website Geshon, Yitzhak, undated, accessed 1 October 2014.
  2. Staff, 'Lone Soldiers in the Holy Land', Baltimore Sun, 12 January 2015, accessed 4 March 2015.
  3. Staff, 'Friends of the Israel Defense Forces Launches Emergency Campaign to Raise Awareness and Funds for Wellbeing Needs of Israel's Soldiers; FIDF Asks Jewish Community to Show Support and Love for Israel's Brave Soldiers', fidf.org, 5 January 2009, accessed 4 March 2015.
  4. Yaakov Katz, David Rudge, Arieh O'Sullivan, Janine Zacharia, 'News in Brief', Jerusalem Post, 17 December 2004, accessed 4 March 2015.
  5. CNN, 'Larry King Interviews a Host of People on the Crisis in Israel and Lebanon', Larry King Live, 22 July 2006, accessed 4 March 2015.
  6. Yaakov Katz Gil Hoffman, 'News in Brief', Jerusalem Post, 7 December 2007, accessed 4 March 2015.
  7. Dan Izenberg, 'A response without justification', Jerusalem Post, 5 November 2007, accessed 4 March 2015.
  8. Daniel Williams, 'In Mideast, Massive Pain For No Gain; Fighting Fails to Advance Israeli, Palestinian Goals', The Washington Post, 2 March 2002, accessed 4 March 2015.
  9. Ross Dunn, 'Captured: the people's hero at Arafat's side', Sydney Morning Herald, 17 April 2002, accessed 4 March 2015.
  10. Daniel Rubin, 'Dozens Dead in Mideast's Worst Day', The Philadelphia Inquirer, 9 March 2002, accessed 4 March 2015.
  11. Gush Shalom Website Gush Shalom Press release. Accessed 6 March 2015.