Halutz: PM angering Obama harms anti-Iran effort

Former IDF chief to ‘Post’: "In the balance of interests, if we want them to think of our interests, we have to think of theirs."

Dan Halutz 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Dan Halutz 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu harmed attempts to prevent a nuclear Iran by defying US President Barack Obama’s request to extend the housing-start moratorium in Judea and Samaria, former IDF chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz hinted in an interview with The Jerusalem Post published in Friday’s Frontlines section.
Halutz, who is expected to enter politics when his three-year post-IDF cooling off period ends in January, has not said whether he intends to join Kadima. But he has already started echoing the party’s central message about Netanyahu’s policies damaging Israel’s interests internationally.
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“The US is Israel’s most important friend, and the relations are not unilateral,” Halutz said. “In any relationship, there is give and take. If you anger the other side on one thing, it is hard to expect them to be your buddy on something else. Only computers don’t have emotions. People are harder to deal with.”
When asked whether he was implying that Netanyahu’s decision not to extend the freeze had harmed the anti-nuclearization effort, Halutz said: “All I will say is that leaders are people. In the balance of interests, if we want them to think of our interests, we have to think of theirs.”
Halutz also criticized Netanyahu for comparing the Iranian threat to the Holocaust, and called his diplomatic policies “unclear.”
The former IDF chief, who held that post when tank gunner Gilad Schalit was kidnapped to Gaza, said that if he were the father of a kidnapped soldier he would try just as hard to bring him home as Schalit’s family has. But he said prime ministers must have additional considerations.
“The family must do everything possible to work for their son’s freedom, and the country must do everything possible so bringing about the freedom of its son Gilad won’t do irrevocable damage to Israel,” Halutz said. “But I would say the term that has been used, that ‘every price’ should be paid, can lead us to the wrong places. I say every effort, not every price, because there are other diplomatic and security considerations for a leader that don’t have to be considered by the parents.”