Lebanon war veterans want political heads to roll, too

A group of reservists who held a two-month long protest last year against the government's handling of the war in Lebanon welcomed the resignation of Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz on Wednesday, but said that it was high time Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz followed suit. "We welcome this move, which comes too late and in the wake of public pressure, but we expect that Ehud Olmert and Amir Peretz will take responsibility and pack their bags," said Lior Dinmez, a spokesman for the reservists protesters. Dinmez added that following the sudden resignation of Israel's beleaguered top military official he felt "a bit more optimistic" both as a reservist and as a citizen, but added that the government's wartime leaders must resign as well. "I do not think that there is one civilian in this country who does not think that these two have to take responsibility and resign," Dinmez said. A recent public opinion poll found that Olmert's public approval rating has hit 14 percent, an all-time low. The chairman of the Movement for Quality Government in Israel, Eliad Shraga, congratulated Halutz on his resignation. "Halutz is a noble man who got into an awkward situation and therefore took the necessary step of accountability. There is no doubt that Halutz demonstrated right political-public code of ethics to the prime minister and the defense minister," said Shraga.