The Winograd report, the inquiry into the disaster of the second Lebanon war, will be released on Monday. Naturally, its contents are already leaking out:
A report broadcast by Israel’s Channel 10 news claimed on Saturday evening that the committee found Prime Minister Ehud Olmert failed to put into action emergency plans drawn up long before the war. Fearing it would result in heavy casualties Olmert resisted a ground incursion into Lebanon but presented no cohesive alternative in its stead due to a lack of structured planning. According to the committee the war was grossly mismanaged and decisions were hastily made in the ensuing chaos…
The committee accused [Defense Minister Amir] Peretz of failing to make up for his lack of military experience and failing to utilize the defense-oriented resources at his disposal. Peretz, according to the committee, preferred to convene a private forum which bypassed the ministry of defense so that in the end [Peretz] was running the war with Olmert with a complete lack of the necessary knowledge. (my emphasis) — YNet
The report also severely criticized former Chief of Staff Dan Halutz. Halutz resigned earlier this year and was replaced by Gabi Ashkenazi.
YNet claims that left-wing Knesset member Yossi Beilin met with right-winger Benjamin Netanyahu ‘secretly’ on Friday, and both agreed that Olmert “must not continue as PM”. There is probably no other issue that these two could agree about. This reminds me of a joke:
Israeli 1: Did you hear that Olmert’s popularity was at 3%?
Israeli 2: I had no idea he had so many relatives!
In addition to his failure as a decision-maker, Olmert’s Prime Ministership is suffering from his unpopularity, the perception that he will not be PM much longer, and several investigations for corruption. Only someone displaying enormous arrogance, someone disconnected from reality, could continue to insist upon remaining in his position as Olmert has. Like Dan Halutz, he should take responsibility and resign.