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Winograd: Striking Iran may endanger Israel's future

September 2, 2012 10:04

Former judge lashes out at Barak, Netanyahu for ignoring advice of defense establishment; Mofaz: PM is "confused, unfocused."

Former judge Eliyahu Winograd

Judge Winograd 370. (photo credit:Ariel Jerozolimski)

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.

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“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 conflict.

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.

The former judge criticized Netanyahu for complaining about former defense officials talking publicly about an Iran strike while he himself had been more vocal than anyone.

“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.

“You are going to endanger our entire country, everything we have built,” he said during the interview. “Both the country physically and the economy.”

He slammed Barak for his comments that no more than 500 Israelis would die in a potential Iranian counterstrike.

“No more than 500 killed.

Did you count, do you know? I don’t know what your considerations are. It is irresponsibility of the highest order,” he said.

Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat

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.
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