Parents, IDF slam Hirsch's war criticism

Follows ex-Galilee Division commander's accusation that senior military echelon abandoned soldiers on the ground.

Hirsch 224.88 (photo credit: IDF [file])
Hirsch 224.88
(photo credit: IDF [file])
Parents of fallen soldiers on Monday morning slammed Brig. -Gen. (res.) Gal Hirsch, commander of the Galilee Division during the Second Lebanon War, a day after he criticized the senior military echelon's conduct during the campaign. "He is beginning to try and gain power like a politician and lay the blame on others instead of taking it on his shoulders," a bereaved parent told Army Radio. Hirsch, who was speaking Sunday evening in Kfar Saba at the launching ceremony of a new book on last summer's war, said: "The senior military echelon hid behind its soldiers on the ground, abandoned them, abandoned the commanders and recoiled from all responsibility." He warned that if another war were to break out, results would be consistent with the war in 2006. The former commander accused the General Staff of failing to plan its operations during the war and accused the army of failing to investigate the war appropriately. "The army searched for those to blame and did not deal with the complicated reality," claimed Hirsch. Hirsch resigned from his post after he was heavily criticized for his responsibility for the capture of reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev in July 2006. Senior IDF officials also criticized Hirsch saying that that was "trying to hide behind the IDF gatekeepers' post." They noted that Hirsch himself was part of the senior IDF command during the war, as the commander of a division under whose authority the capture of Goldwasser and Regev occurred, Israel Radio reported. The officials went on to say: "If Hirsch would have been given a medal of honor as a result of the inquiries, he would have concluded that the investigation was carried out appropriately, but since his failures were exposed, he is finding faults in the investigation. "Hirsch knew more than most of the general public how deep and comprehensive the inquiries into the war were and he certainly now hears from his former colleagues about the intense training and lessons implemented in the army in the past year." Hirsch's lawyer Dror Brodfeld responded by saying that his client was a "scapegoat" of the General Staff in the war and said that he had chosen to speak out now because until now the IDF had prevented him from doing so.