'Gov't preparation for flotilla was sloppy work'

Uzi Arad lambastes PM, describing him as a careless leader who rebuffed efforts to seriously look at 'Marmara' issue.

Uzi Arad 390 (photo credit: REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen)
Uzi Arad 390
(photo credit: REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen)
Uzi Arad, who served as head of the National Security Council during the May 2010 Mavi Marmara incident, slammed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his government for carrying out “sloppy work” in preparation for the flotilla to Gaza.
Speaking during a panel discussion in Tel Aviv on Friday, Arad made the comments two days after State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss, in a report on the incident, criticized the government’s decision-making in dealing with the flotilla.
Lindenstrauss charged that the National Security Council Law of 2008 had not been properly implemented and, as a result, the NSC did not play the central role it should have in planning Israel’s response to the flotilla.
The law stipulates that the NSC should act as a staff forum for the prime minister and his government for foreign and national security matters.
Arad, who was forced to resign in March 2011 over allegations that he leaked classified information to a journalist, has reiterated on several occasions his claim that Netanyahu failed to empower the NSC. At a Knesset committee meeting earlier this year, the deputy attorney-general made clear that his office never attributed the leaks to Arad.
On Friday, Arad described Netanyahu as having a careless attitude in the lead-up to the flotilla.
“I would come to him claiming something had to be done in a certain way,” Arad said, “and he would answer me: ‘Uzi, what is your obsession with process?’”
Arad claimed he had pushed for a cabinet meeting to discuss the issue in the three months prior to the flotilla, but was turned down. He criticized Netanyahu’s military secretary, Yohanan Locker, for contributing to the problem.
“All of a sudden, four days before the flotilla, the military secretary organized some kind of meeting, with no preparation, with no reference material, without looking at the full scope of the problem and without the right ministers present,” Arad charged.
“In other words, what happened was exponentially sloppy work.”
Arad added that when he pressed Netanyahu to prepare, the prime minister would tell him to focus on “substance” rather than the “process.”
“And I would tell him that process determines the outcome of the substance,” Arad said.