Kadima accuses Netanyahu, Barak of passing the buck

Livni says both used Turkel testimonies to evade responsibility.

Livni close up 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file[)
Livni close up 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file[)
Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak both used their testimony before the Turkel Commission to evade responsibility for the mistakes in handling May’s Gaza flotilla, Kadima leader Tzipi Livni said on Tuesday.
A Kadima spokesman accused Barak of “breaking records of chutzpa” previously set by Netanyahu by placing responsibility on soldiers for the government’s failures. The spokesman said Netanyahu’s government behaved irresponsibly by “throwing its rubbish on the officers of the IDF who cannot defend themselves against the ministers of their own government.”
Livni told Army Radio that “the basic characteristic that must exist in a leader is the ability to come before the State of Israel innocently, cleanly and truthfully to explain the considerations, the explanations and the motivations behind their decisions.”
Likud and Labor responded by accusing Livni and Kadima of political opportunism.
“The attempts by Livni and Kadima to use the events of the Mavi Marmara as a political battering ram are unprecedented in their hypocrisy,” said Likud MK Ophir Akunis, who heads the party’s response team.
“Instead of acting as a responsible and loyal opposition, once again Kadima under Livni has proven its shallowness and pursuit of spins and slogans. The public has already understood where Kadima’s irresponsibility led Israel from failure to failure.”
The Labor Party said it “furiously rejects attempts by Kadima to place the IDF within their political game.”
A party spokesman said Kadima members could learn about evading responsibility by looking at Livni’s own testimony before the Winograd Committee that probed failures that occurred during the Second Lebanon War, when she was foreign minister.
“Barak said in his testimony today before the Turkel Commission in an definite manner that he bears the responsibility for everything that occurs in the security forces, including the IDF, and that he bears full responsibility for the connection between the policy-setting level to the security echelon as occurred in the case of the flotilla,” the Labor spokesman said.
National Union MK Arye Eldad said, “Barak is convinced that the Turkel Commission isn’t capable of chipping his Teflon coating. He is rich in experience of throwing responsibility on others. In the course of his military career, it was only the names of those guilty that changed, and it was always those above him or those below him. He is convinced that this time as well [it is] the sentry or the pilot who will take the fire instead of him.”