Former Supreme Court justice Eliyahu Winograd, who headed the committee that
probed the failures of the 2006 Second Lebanon War, came out against a possible
unilateral strike on Iran Sunday, saying that such an attack could “endanger the
future of Israel.”
Speaking in an interview with Army Radio, Winograd
questioned whether Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud
Barak had taken into account the lessons learned in the aftermath of the 2006
war, as laid out by his committee.
“I am not convinced that the
decision-makers will implement the findings of that report,” he said. “If that
is the case we are all in big trouble.”
Winograd also lashed out at
Netanyahu and Barak for advocating a strike on Iran despite opposition by senior
defense establishment officials.
“All the heads of the defense
establishment, the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency], the Mossad, both former
and current, and Military Intelligence, everyone is saying ‘Don’t attack!’ – and
only Barak and Netanyahu have decided yes?” The Winograd Committee found that
Israel’s political echelon failed in its planning of the Second Lebanon War and
did not sufficiently consult with the military leadership in the lead-up to the
Winograd also questioned the preparedness of the Home Front to
withstand the likely barrage of missiles that would follow an attack on Iran. He
said that both Hezbollah and Hamas were likely to contribute to the “rain of
missiles” on the rear, and it appeared that Israel had neither enough bomb
shelters nor gas masks to deal with such a counter-strike.
judge criticized Netanyahu for complaining about former defense officials
talking publicly about an Iran strike while he himself had been more vocal than
“You intend to act – sit down and shut up,” Winograd said.
“Decide secretly if you’re attacking, and if you decide to attack, attack. But
what are you talking for? So that the Iranians will be even more prepared and
ready their missiles to target us?” He also charged both Barak and Netanyahu
with acting irresponsibly in advocating a unilateral strike on Iran.
are going to endanger our entire country, everything we have built,” he said
during the interview. “Both the country physically and the economy.”
slammed Barak for his comments that no more than 500 Israelis would die in a
potential Iranian counterstrike.
“No more than 500 killed.
count, do you know? I don’t know what your considerations are. It is
irresponsibility of the highest order,” he said.
Opposition leader Shaul
Mofaz echoed Winograd’s comments, saying Sunday that any Israeli strike on Iran
should be part of a US-led campaign.
“Israel cannot act alone to prevent
the Iranian nuclear program at this time,” Mofaz told Army Radio. “Such action
might bring us into a very difficult war.”
Mofaz questioned Netanyahu’s
ability to lead, saying he found the prime minister “confused, stressed out and
unfocused” during a meeting they held last week.
“The prime minister has
lost the trust of the security chiefs, US President [Barack] Obama and President
Shimon Peres,” the opposition leader said.