A blueprint for governing Israel

The report's repercussions ripple far wider than the singular event - the war - that was its catalyst.

May 1, 2007 04:20
1 minute read.
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eiland 248.88 . (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )


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I want to leave aside personal politics - the suitability of this minister, the hastiness of that one. That's not my field. What is important to me is to stress that the Winograd Report is the most serious study ever of one of the most vital issues: how the State of Israel is run. It's much much more serious, and of much higher quality, for instance, than the Agranat Commission of Inquiry into the Yom Kippur War. It has put its finger on two central points. The question now is whether and how its findings will be implemented.

The first point relates to the way the government conducts its discussions - the absence of a staff, the absence of a system. The report highlights, and urges the necessary steps to correct the situation which sees the government functioning in the political-security arena without its own staff: The most important body in the country is without its own staff to enable it to effectively grapple with the most important issues! The second point relates to the relationship between the political and the security echelons, and suggests how it should work. This is a vital reform. The government can't possibly be capable of taking the appropriate decisions if it does not fully understand, for instance, the IDF's capabilities. If the cabinet only meets to weigh decisions when there's a crisis, it's like a board of directors that only gets together when the company is about to go bankrupt. Now it may be that the recommendations in the report are not sufficiently concrete, but the pointers are certainly there. Since the government is so anxious to stay away from the personal conclusions in the report, it is enthusiastically embracing these professional recommendations. So maybe, out of all of this, something good will come. The writer is a former head of the National Security Council.

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