Olmert: Winograd report was not a source of joy

Olmert says war report is an opportunity to fix flaws, rebuild where necessary and lead Israel forward.

Olmert 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Olmert 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
"The Winograd report is a difficult and complex report that attests to very problematic areas in Israeli society, our political leadership and the defense establishment," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said at the start of Sunday's cabinet meeting. "The report is not a source of joy; there was none anywhere, certainly not with me," he added. The prime minister said the report was an "opportunity to fix flaws, rebuild where necessary and to lead Israel forward so that it will be properly prepared in all security, social and diplomatic areas to deal with the challenges that it must face." Olmert said that he directed an orderly process for implementing the report's recommendations in both the public and political arenas. "From the first day after the cessation of fighting, the IDF - under the leadership of then IDF chief-of-staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz and then-defense minister Amir Peretz and with greater impetus under their respective successors - began to study the mistakes and prepare the defense establishment so that it could properly deal with the missions with which it is charged," he said. The prime minister said the cabinet had complete confidence in the ability of the defense establishment to properly deal with the problems that have arisen and to prepare the IDF for any future challenge. "The organizations subject to the cabinet and to Defense Minister Barak will be instructed to deal with whatever is necessary so that we will be able to implement the report's recommendations appropriately," he said. Olmert emphasized that the Winograd report clearly states there were achievements, not only failures during the war. "We must neither exaggerate the achievements nor understate the failures. Rather, we must treat them with all due seriousness and gravity," he said. Olmert paid tribute to the bereaved families saying that "we must constantly remember that there are those who paid an unbearably heavy personal price that they will have to live with always." He said these families will always be at the "center of the Israeli public's love and consciousness." After the cabinet meeting, Olmert convened a special ministerial committee on the issue of releasing Palestinian prisoners. The committee discussed proposals submitted by a delegation of ministers led by Vice Premier Haim Ramon. The proposals include expanding the list of those eligible for release without changing previously-determined criteria by including Palestinians with links to terror but who weren't personally involved in attacks.