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Lt. Col. Vindman forced out of US army. My invitation to Israel renewed!

The officer who challenged US Pres. Trump would be a much-needed boost to the honor and moral strength of our own armed forces
National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman is sworn in to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 19, 2019, during a public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman is sworn in to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 19, 2019, during a public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Exactly four months after I extended a personal invitation to Lt.-Col. Alexander Vindman, “The IDF needs you!” his lawyer, David Pressman, yesterday announced Vindman’s retirement from the US Army.

After testifying at Donald Trump’s impeachment hearing and voicing his confidence that in America (unlike his native USSR), he could not be penalized for telling the truth, Vindman was frog-marched out of the White House where he had served on the National Security Council. But as it now transpires, Trump’s vindictiveness did not stop at that.

“After more than 21 years of military service,” Pressman said, “Vindman is retiring today after it has been made clear that his future within the institution he has dutifully served will forever be limited. Through a campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation, the President of the United States attempted to force LTC Vindman to choose between adhering to the law or pleasing a President. Between honoring his oath or protecting his career. …Vindman’s patriotism has cost him his career. Today our country loses a devoted soldier, but it is incumbent upon all of us to ensure it does not lose the values he represents,”

I hastened to forward my blog post — which now reads almost as ancient history, but is also timelier than ever — to Mr. Pressman, with a request to convey it to his client:

“I meant this [blog post] as a token of admiration and support. Little did I imagine that even under Donald Trump, Col. Vindman would be forced into retirement from the US Army because of his courage and integrity. I cannot of course speak officially for the Israeli government or military, but I am sure that many of my countrymen and fellow Jews feel all the more, now that aliyah has become a theoretical option for him, that he would be most welcome here — and a much-needed boost to the honor and moral strength of our own armed forces.

“Please give Col. Vindman my most heartfelt respects and best wishes, whatever future path he chooses — and many thanks to you for representing him so capably!”

Vindman is, needless to say, a world-class expert on the former USSR including Russia and Ukraine. Here’s hoping that some Israeli agency offers him its auspices before he is snapped up by some American university or think tank.

About the Author
Gideon Remez, formerly head of foreign news at Voice of Israel Radio, is an associate fellow of the Truman Institute, Hebrew University. The views expressed here are his own and not the Institute's.
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