A farewell ceremony was held on Thursday to honor the outgoing Shin Bet director, Nadav Argaman, which was attended by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, President Isaac Herzog and the incoming director, Ronen Bar.
Other attendees of the ceremony were MKs and government ministers, former Shin Bet directors, families of fallen Shin Bet servicepeople and others.
Nadav Argaman is ending a 43-year career in the service of Israel, out of which 38 were spent in the Shin Bet.
“Today, you end almost four decades of service for the people and the nation of Israel,” Herzog said in his speech. “The people of Israel owe you a big debt – for the things they know and, even more, for the many things they don’t know of and may never know.
“In the last five years, you’ve led the Shin Bet with professionalism and determination. With you at the helm, the organization thwarted hundreds of terror attacks and saved many Israeli lives.”
“You worked to make connections between all intelligence forces, which made those forces more efficient and much more precise.”
At the end of the speech, Herzog gave his congratulations and well-wishes to Bar, saying that “the vast and varied experience you’ve collected up to this point naturally leads you to this role, but as Nadav can attest to, there is no job in the organization that can come close to the heavy responsibility that now falls on your shoulders. The service comes with many difficult and meaningful challenges. I have no doubt that you will handle them successfully.”
Like Herzog, Bennett mentioned Argaman’s cooperation with the other forces in his speech.
“The consistent approach with which you led, and which to my mind doubles our power, was deepening the cooperation between the Shin Bet, the IDF and the rest of the security forces,” he said. “Less ego, fewer territory games. When you work together, when you share information and put the goal in sight, you reach excellent results.”
Bennett added that another element that characterized Argaman’s leadership was initiative. He then recounted the story of his first day as Defense Minister.
“That’s exactly the spirit we need. That daring spirit that takes initiative. Pointing to problems isn’t enough. The wisdom is coming to the cabinet with solutions and plans of action.”
Summarizing his service, Argaman said that everyone wants to leave a mark.
“My hope is that the service that I’m leaving behind will continue to be a moral organization with a clear and simple vision, an organization that learns and improves and knows to learn lessons from successes and failures and doesn’t repeat mistakes. An organization that honors the total precision and control over the small details as well as the ability to go far – think, fly and dream.”
“I strove to make this a caring organization that cares for its people and gives them a sense of home, family and trust. An organization that demands of its people dedication and commitment at the highest level but also gives them an added sense of worth that’s different from any other place of work,” Argaman added.
“You – my companions and dear friends – you, and this special organization, will always remain a big family. I feel great satisfaction and true pride that I had the honor of being part of the Shin Bet family, to design and lead such a special organization and be in charge of the defenders of this nation.”
“More than that, Nadav stood out in regards to the ‘why?.’ In an ever-changing reality, and especially in legacy-based organizations with an operational tradition, the ‘why’ is what makes all the difference.”