MK Erel Margalit.
(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
The state comptroller must release his full report on 2014’s Operation Protective Edge “before [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] fails in the next war,” Labor leadership candidate MK Erel Margalit said on Sunday.
Margalit set up a petition on a website with the URL bbfail.com, “BB” referring to the prime minister’s nickname, Bibi.
“Since the report was leaked, Netanyahu has tried to discredit the state comptroller, blame former members of the security cabinet for leaks and if we give him a bit more time, he’ll blame bad karma,” Margalit quipped.
“There is only one person Netanyahu is unwilling to blame: Himself.”
Margalit called on Netanyahu to release the full report and “stop hiding,” because “bereaved families deserve to know what happened in the war and how to prevent the next failure.”
In a video posted on Facebook to promote the petition, Margalit said, “The state was paralyzed for over 50 days, people were in shelters, the economy crashed, Ben-Gurion Airport was closed.
“We will put on the table what Netanyahu is trying to hide,” he declared.
Margalit, who plans to run for chairman of the Labor Party when it holds its next primary, has taken an aggressive tone in his campaigning, in contrast with the party’s current, soft-spoken leader, Isaac Herzog.
The date for the primary has yet to be set, and on Sunday the party’s secretariat postponed the decision until after Independence Day. Herzog plans to postpone the vote, which was supposed to be held next week, and is considering holding off until November 2017.
The State Comptroller’s Report is expected to be made public soon, but was provided to Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chiefof- Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot in February.
The report, which leaked on Thursday, blames Netanyahu, Ya’alon and former IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Benny Gantz for failing to warn the security cabinet about intelligence from the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) about the possibility of war with Hamas before the start of Operation Protective Edge in 2014 and for not holding serious cabinet meetings about the Hamas tunnel threat.
During the war, State Comptroller Joseph Shapira allegedly says, the trio kept key decisions and details to themselves, not consulting with the cabinet to a problematic extent. At the same time, some security cabinet members did not educate themselves enough about pertinent issues to fulfill their duties.
The State Controller’s Office confirmed that Shapira requested that Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit investigate the leak, but the Justice Ministry said on Sunday that it had yet to receive the complaint.
Also on Sunday, Meretz gathered the signatures of 53 MKs in order to call a meeting of the Knesset during its recess, to discuss the report. A date for the discussion has not been set, but it is likely to be held next week.Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.