Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Majadle: Labor Isn't Quitting Over Winograd

Gil Ronen

The Minister of Science, Culture and Sport, Raleb Majadle (Labor) said Tuesday that his party would not be leaving the government following publication of the final report by the Winograd commission, which was appointed to investigate the handling of the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006. "This is the best government for Israel," he said. "I am not waiting to see Winograd; we have seen the intermediate report and that is enough for us."

"We need to look ahead, for the good of Israeli society," Israel's first Arab minister said. "The society requires that we show national responsibility, and first and foremost governmental stability. We can't have elections every two years."

Report may center on Halutz
A source described as being "close to the Winograd Commission" told Ynet that "the report will place a mirror before the face of Israeli society." The core of the report, the source said, will deal with the IDF "ethos of combat" and "the interface between Israel's society and its military."

Leaks from the report are varied in nature but most of them predict a report that will not be very hars
The report's main purpose is not "to chop off heads" but to learn from mistakes and prepare Israel for the coming years.
h on Olmert, and reserve most of its criticism for the military leadership, especially then-Chief of Staff of the IDF, Lt.-Gen.Dan Halutz.

The report's main purpose, according to another news item on the subject, is not "to chop off heads" but to learn from mistakes and prepare Israel for the coming years.

'No improvement' since interim report
One of the commission's members said the committee was of the opinion that the prime minister did not implement changes in response to the conclusions in the committee's interim report, which was published nine months ago. Channel 10 News quoted the commission member, who said no meaningful improvement had taken place since the war, in the decision-making process regarding political and security matters.

Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik rejected a request by opposition MKs to hold a special Knesset session on Thursday in order to debate the final Winograd report (the Knesset does not normally convene on Thursdays; its three-day work week begins on Monday and ends on Wednesday).

The debate is probably going to be held next week. More than the required 40 MKs have signed a pe
Opposition MKs: 'Prime Minister attempting to buy time and delay the debate.'
tition requiring Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to personally address the debate on the Winograd report when it takes place.

Letter from Schneller
MKs Zevulun Orlev (NU/NRP) and Gideon Sa'ar (Likud) said Tuesday that the speaker's decision was misguided. According to Army Radio, the two said that "the report's importance overrides the Prime Minister's attempts to buy time and delay the debate."

Opposition members did not give up, though: they made use of their allotted one-minute speeches Tuesday evening to quote the most damning passages from the intermediate Winograd Commission report.

MK Otniel Schneller (Kadima), a confidante of Olmert's, wrote a letter to his fellow Kadima members Tuesday, in which he said that if the report unequivocally asks Olmert to resign, he will understand the consequences on his own.

Shneller said that the blame for the problematic management of the war lay with past leaders, who did not place enough emphasis on the IDF's readiness. This year, said Schneller, the conclusions from the Second Lebanon War have been implemented and improvements are already visible.”

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