Retired Lieutenant-General Aharon Davidi passed away last Saturday at the age of 84. His name is closely linked with Israel’s security and wars, from the days of the Hagana, Palmach and the Independence war, through the era of the retaliation operations and the Sinai war to the Six Days war and the attrition war that followed it. More than once, Davidi replaced under enemy fire commanders who were wounded or killed and led the forces over which he took command to victory in battle. For one of these actions, in a retaliation operation in Gaza in 1956, he received a medal of bravery from Israel’s Chief of Staff. He built the reserve forces of the paratroopers’ brigade and was Israel’s first Paratroopers Chief Commanding Officer. His activities in support of the Kurds in Iraq will probably be only fully recognised in the future. After retiring from the IDF in 1972, Davidi was involved as a civilian in many voluntary and Zionist activities.
Davidi belonged to a generation where commanders led from the front, where people did more and talked less, and where the use of court journalists and shrewd lawyers was unheard of. With each candle of Davidi’s type whose flame dies down and is extinguished, the sense of oppressive darkness increases a little. May he rest in peace.