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IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz came under harsh criticism on Friday during a meeting with former generals over his personal contribution to what they called the military's failure during the second Lebanon war.
Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Avigdor Ben-Gal told Halutz he had "committed the sin of arrogance" when declaring upon taking up the post of chief of staff a year ago that "the shepherd does not also have to be a sheep to lead the herd," in response to claims that as an IAF commander he could not lead the army.
According to Ben-Gal, a chief of staff from the air force, like Halutz, could not command the IDF, which is comprised mainly of infantry, artillery, and armored forces.
"I don't have anything personal against you," Ben-Gal continued, "But a general from the air force cannot run the military. You are the first and the last chief of staff from the air force."
Halutz fired back and said: "I could pick up and leave but I have decided to take responsibility, to draw the necessary conclusions and to fix things and make it better."
Halutz also asked the generals where they were during the war claiming that only three of them bothered to call and offer advice.
"Where were you until now? Where were you when the defense budget was cut? None of you fought against it," Halutz said. "Some of you have exaggerated. I also had criticism for my commanders in the past but whoever compares between 2006, 1973, 1967 and 1948 is making a grave mistake."
Meanwhile Friday, Halutz decided to suspend the promotion of commander of Brigade 7 Col. Amnon Eshel for two years after he blasted his superior officer, commander of Division 91, Brig.-Gen. Gal Hirsh. Eshel was filmed by Channel 10 during the war in Lebanon telling one of his subordinates that Hirsh "does not understand what is going on on the battlefield."
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