Israelis are drafted to the army at the age of eighteen. For most of them, it is the first time they leave home. For most, it is also the first “job” they have. Thus, these become formative years for many. Existing character traits are strengthened and work ethic and norms are shaped and instilled.
Sayeret Matkal, Israel’s elite commando unit, trains its members to achieve their objectives, often beyond enemy lines, at any price. It is all about achieving a specific target, crushing a specific opponent that must be overcome, without allowing other issues to deflect them from their mission. They operate in very small teams and are trained to trust no one but their team partners. To that end, the Matkal Commando seeks out applicants with suitable personalities and further reinforces these qualities.
The two men leading Israel, Minister of Defence Barak and Prime Minister Netanyahu, are veterans of this elite unit. The two men have exposed the traits that make the Matkal commando work, trusting no one and operating within their own closed bubble, throughout their political careers.
Could it be that these two men, who lead Israel into what may be a horrendous war, are unfit for the job? Have they defined a mission and are unable to see the bigger picture?