Comptroller is not biased, says Knesset Speaker

Ya’alon defends Gantz against damning Gaza war report

March 3, 2017 00:42
2 minute read.
Yosef Shapira

State Comptroller Joseph Shapira‏. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein dismissed charges that the report on the 2014 Gaza war was politically biased or targeted the IDF.

“I have been working with the state comptroller since I assumed office four years ago and I have never noticed a political bias, not to the Left and not to the Right,” Edelstein told Army Radio on Thursday, two days after State Comptroller Joseph Shapira released his report on Operation Protective Edge. “The state comptroller does not seem to me as a hasty, political or superficial kind of person.”

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When asked about the prime minister’s comments that the report was targeting the IDF Edelstein said a practical disagreement with the comptroller is fine, but there is no place for attacks and accusations.

“He is not chasing headlines,” he said. “He is doing a thorough job each time, and that is what I am telling him after receiving reports from him.”

Edelstein stressed that the report should be used for drawing conclusions, and not for mutual slandering by politicians.

“I have never met anyone – not the prime minister and not one of the ministers – that wanted the operation to fail or wanted to send soldiers to their certain death,” he said. “We should learn from this report in order to function better in the future. We should also remember that this war, which was conducted in harsh conditions, also had positive aspects, and we should acknowledge that too.”

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman also defended the report, saying it was serious and shouldn’t be dismissed with a wave of the hand.

“I don’t recommend that anyone mock this report,” he said, noting that the military has been implementing the lessons of the operation since the day it ended.

Former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon posted a statement on Facebook defending former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz, who was in charge of the operation with Ya’alon.

“Gantz led the warfare in Gaza with wisdom, humility and success,” Ya’alon wrote. “Benny is a man of truth, who revealed what is trying to be hidden from the public: The ministers who were ‘taken by surprise’ spoke [in the security cabinet] to get their names in the press. Today they are using the soldiers to play cheap politics. We fought the war responsibility and with good judgment, and we brought quiet to the South.”

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