Halutz calls for PM’s ouster following fire

Newly-minted Kadima politician Dan Halutz wastes no time entering political fray, calls on PM, Steinitz and Yishai to leave office after fires.

December 11, 2010 21:42
2 minute read.
Dan Halutz

Halutz not in uniform 311. (photo credit: Globes)

Former IDF chief of General Staff Dan Halutz has been in politics for less than a month, but that did not deter him Saturday from calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and other government ministers in the wake of the Carmel fire.

The new Kadima member, speaking on Channel 2’s Meet the Press, discussed his own infamous resignation in the wake of the Second Lebanon War, emphasizing that “resignation is noble.”

“I am not an adviser on matters of resignation,” Halutz qualified, but then went on to say, “responsibility is not guilt, and carrying out that responsibility is not an admission of guilt. Responsibility is something built-in, and it means I am responsible for missions, even when they are not carried out well.”

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In this case, said Halutz, “the person who ultimately bears responsibility is the prime minister.

The second responsible minister is the finance minister, and the third is the interior minister, who is responsible for the firefighters. There are others responsible who bear ministerial responsibility, general responsibility for the functioning of the system. Ministerial responsibility should also be expressed through resignation.

“If there was a failure, someone has to go home,” he summed up.

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz jumped to Netanyahu’s defense, saying that “the prime minister worked in an exceptional manner.

He found the right point where he needed to find a solution, and he found the right solution – air-based fire-fighting.”

“Kadima’s new politician, Dan Halutz, who failed in the Second Lebanon War and recommended that prime minister Ariel Sharon eliminate aerial fire-fighting should be silent and ashamed, together with [Kadima chairwoman] Tzipi Livni, who voted in 2002 in favor of eliminating airborne fire-fighting services,” responded Likud officials following Halutz’s remarks.

“Halutz resigned from the position of IDF chief of General Staff because of his failed performance and is the exact opposite of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who displayed leadership from the moment the fire broke out and brought fire-fighting planes to Israel from around the world.”

Halutz stepped down from military service amid heavy criticism of his leadership in the 2006 war. Less than two weeks ago he formally joined the Kadima Party, and is expected to campaign for one of the party’s top slots in the next elections.

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