The long awaited report from State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss on the preparations and handling of the home front ahead of and during the Second Lebanon War. According to the report the government spent so much time on the war (and not very well for that mater) , that they didn’t have the time to think about what was going on inside Israel.
The report said in part :
“Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, former defense minister Amir Peretz, former chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz and OC Home Front Command Maj.-Gen. Yitzhak Gershon all failed severely in their decision-making processes, assessments and operations in managing the home front during the war,”
Poor decision making, it doesn’t sound very encouraging. Now it has been two committees that have said that Olmert and his government do now know how make the necessary decisions to lead the country during had times. Isn’t it time for Barak to keep is promise pull Labor out of the government, bring it down and call for new elections?
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‘Leaders abandoned home front during Lebanon war’
Yaakov Katz and Dan Izenberg, THE JERUSALEM POST Jul. 17, 2007
“The management of the home front during the war was severely inadequate… [and] the country’s leaders invested most of their efforts in the fighting in Lebanon but not in the home front that was under severe attack since the first day of the war,” according to a report released Wednesday by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss on the preparations and handling of the home front ahead of and during the Second Lebanon War.
This poor management said the report, left an “empty gap” in the home front and left the residents “exposed, vulnerable and without protection” in the most difficult of periods.
The State Comptroller’s Office had examined the government’s decision-making process concerning the home front, the performance of the Home Front Command and the Northern Command during the war as well as that of local authorities.
The report pointed to many shortcomings regarding the functioning of the government and the preparedness of the ruling authorities in dealing with the home front in an emergency situation.
“Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, former defense minister Amir Peretz, former chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz and OC Home Front Command Maj.-Gen. Yitzhak Gershon all failed severely in their decision-making processes, assessments and operations in managing the home front during the war,” read the report.
Gershon and Peretz came under severe criticism for not calling up IDF reservists in the Home Front Command on time and for not calling up the required quantity of soldiers.
One the eve of the war’s outbreak, claimed the report, the government was presented with expert assessments which indicated that the home front would most probably come under attack and also detailed the extent of the damage likely to be caused.
However, worryingly, the report stated that it was not until June 30 – more than two weeks after the war broke out – that the cabinet held an emergency meeting on the situation including detailed analyses on the ability of the home front to deal with the rocket fire.
Furthermore, claimed the state comptroller, this delayed meeting did not deal with the failures and problems extensively.
Since the report included severe criticism of the government, the Knesset State Control Committee is empowered by law to order the appointment of a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate the matter.
Meanwhile, the Israel Police received an unexpected leg up from Lindenstrauss in the report, who wrote, “In general the police performed well during the war.”
Claiming to be better prepared for a war today, the IDF Home Front Command (HFC) rejected the harsh criticism leveled at it. One senior officer said that most of the recommendations and conclusions raised in Lindenstrauss’s report were already made months ago by the internal IDF inquiry teams set up to probe the HFC’s performance following the war.
The State Comptroller’s Office began probing the performance of the government and army in protecting the home front as soon as the war ended in August 2006. Investigators spoke to dozens of witnesses including all the cabinet ministers involved with the home front, former chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Dan Halutz and former police Insp.- Gen. Moshe Karadi.