(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Outgoing National Security Advisor Uzi Arad spared no punches Tuesday, turning a
farewell meeting with the Knesset’s State Control Committee into a platform for
scathing criticism of the Defense Ministry.
The Knesset committee met
Tuesday morning for the latest in a series of meetings on the National Security
Council, an advisory and coordinating body in the Prime Minister’s Office that,
since its establishment, has struggled with the Defense Ministry for
The council, said committee chairman Yoel Hasson (Kadima),
serves as an important counterbalance – and has the ability to synthesize – the
powerful voices of leaders of defense organizations such as the Shin Bet and the
During the meeting, Arad reiterated complaints that a number of
governmental bodies ignore the NSC’s mandate, and the National Security Council
Law. Arad offered the example of Defense Minister Ehud Barak as one of the
senior officials who violate the law.
Barak, he said, “acts as if there
is no law, no Knesset, and as if there were never any investigative
Arad continued to complain that the council that he led was
prevented from receiving key “raw” intelligence information, but rather only
received a processed report.
The prime minister’s military secretary,
Gen. Yohanan Locker, he added, also ignored the advisory body. Locker and Arad
reportedly squabbled for months in 2010 regarding the levels of authority of
their respective positions.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Arad said,
“gives full support to the council.”
Arad called upon Hasson to call both
Barak and Locker to testify before the committee.
The outgoing NSC chief
did, however, note that the legislation had helped to formalize the status of
Arad said that his predecessor, Danny Arditi, knew about the
plans for Operation Cast Lead only after the operation began.
years, he added, special lines of communication have been established with five
parallel organizations in other countries, and that a special working group has
been formed with the NSC’s American counterpart.