Barak, Knesset c'tee clash over IDF cancellations

MKs slam defense minister for preventing army officer from appearing before c'tee; Barak says he's protecting military ranks from politics.

April 3, 2011 16:09
1 minute read.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak

Barak speech serious 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Charles Dharapak/Pool )

Members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee accused Defense Minister Ehud Barak of preventing the participation of senior IDF officers in a debate scheduled to be held on Sunday.

A scheduled debate on recognition of Palestinian statehood and the "Fayyad Plan" was cancelled when Barak decided not to allow the officers to appear before the committee, MKs alleged.

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MK Ze'ev Elkin called Barak's decision "outrageous" and said it infringed on Knesset procedures.

In response, Barak issued a statement saying that the civilian leadership is supposed to protect the military ranks, and not to demand their appearance before the Knesset for political issues like the "Fayyad Plan."

He said that other officials, like the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the director-general of the Defense Ministry or minister of homeland security should be invited for such discussions..

If needed, Barak added, he would be willing to appear in front of the Knesset himself in order to answer their political questions but asserted that it is not the role of military leadership to do so.

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