Benny Gantz, the former IDF chief of staff, addressed the annual dinner of the UJIA last week and reminded guests of the danger of Isis terrorists, whom he called “sub-human creatures”.
Delivering a wide-ranging address at the charity’s fundraiser in central London, Mr Gantz also discussed North Korea and the Iran nuclear deal.
He reminded attendees of the importance of defeating Isis – not just by military force but also by defeating its ideology. He said: “What we face is someone that we cannot compromise with – someone that has nothing to negotiate with us.
“There’s nothing we can agree upon with those people. You can have negotiations with your enemies. But you cannot have anything to do with sub-human creatures like those people.
“You can beat a military force with military force. But you must beat an idea with a better idea. Isis comes from an idea – it comes from frustration.
“People are identifying with something that is bigger than them, and the world needs to support and strengthen alternative, moderate ideas.”
Mr Gantz also commented on the Iran nuclear deal, reached in 2015, saying: “It’s not a question of whether it’s a good deal or a bad deal. It’s a done deal.
“We should not agree to have Iran military nuclear capabilities – and if we are looking for a negative active example we can see North Korea, who are playing games above Japan.
“As long as the Iranians stick to the agreement, that’s one thing. But once they do something wrong I think we should have diplomatic pressure and, of course, military operations.”
Mr Gantz is currently serving a customary three-year cooling-off period between leaving the IDF and entering politics, after completing 38 years of military service.
He was the guest of honour of the UJIA, which describes itself as an “Israel engagement charity”, and raised more than £3 million from last week’s dinner. The money will go towards “vital programmes in the UK and in Israel”.
UJIA, seen as one of the most influential communal charities, also announced Louise Jacobs would succeed Bill Benjamin as chair, becoming the first woman ever to hold the position.