A mil­i­tary re­treat

The Jewish Chronicle - - Comment & Analysis -

It took a long time com­ing, but the res­ig­na­tion this week of IDF chief of staff Dan Ha­lutz had an air of in­evitabil­ity about it. Gen­eral Ha­lutz was in an im­pos­si­ble po­si­tion, with the on­go­ing Wino­grad com­mis­sion of in­quiry into the Le­banon con­flict look­ing likely to im­pli­cate him. Yet he was not the first to leave. Gen­eral Udi Adam, the for­mer head of the North­ern Com­mand, an­nounced his res­ig­na­tion in Septem­ber, and Galilee Di­vi­sion head Bri­gadier Gen­eral Gal Hirsch stepped down in Novem­ber amid con­tin­u­ing crit­i­cism of the war. Of course, Gen­eral Ha­lutz’s de­par­ture does not end a chap­ter. Rather, it sig­nals the next round of res­ig­na­tions and re­crim­i­na­tions. Now pres­sure will mount yet fur­ther on the po­lit­i­cal ech­e­lon, es­pe­cially Defence Min­is­ter Amir Peretz and Prime Min­is­ter Ehud Olmert. Mr Peretz is al­most cer­tain to be un­seated in May’s Labour lead­er­ship con­test, and Mr Olmert faces both the stresses of the fall­out from the war and a crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion into his con­duct as fi­nance min­is­ter. Dual charges of in­com­pe­tence and cor­rup­tion may be a com­bi­na­tion he finds hard to with­stand. Both men, how­ever, look likely to cling on to their seats in in­de­cent des­per­a­tion for the im­me­di­ate fu­ture. Is­raeli gen­er­als, it seems, are more ready to take re­spon­si­bil­ity than their po­lit­i­cal con­tem­po­raries.

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