Regev: Halutz erred when canceling daily war briefings

The IDF Spokeswoman during the Second Lebanon War told the Winograd Committee that a national agency should responsible for hasbara.

Miri Regev 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Miri Regev 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Calling for the establishment of a national agency responsible for hasbara, IDF Spokeswoman during the Second Lebanon War Brig.-Gen. Miri Regev told the Winograd Committee that Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz, chief of staff during the war, "was mistaken" when deciding to cancel the daily military briefings. In a testimony released Monday, Regev told the war committee that the daily briefings, held at the Kirya Military Headquarters in Tel Aviv during the war, were stopped after 10 days despite the fact that surveys showed 70 percent of Israelis watched them on television. "People waited to see them," she said. "We were given a half-hour stage to say what we wanted instead of listening to different commentators." Asked by the committee why the briefings were cancelled, Regev said that it was due to criticism. "Just like you are influenced by the public, so were they [the generals]," she said, adding that "with all due respect to the public… we need to know what our goals are and to look at the polls that show that out of the entire public, 70 percent watched the briefings." Regev also said the IDF made a mistake by not embedding journalists with forces inside Lebanon from the beginning of the war. In total, Regev said, 31 Israeli journalists and 18 foreign journalists were embedded with troops during the war. "Instead of moving around Metula they should have been inside the field to document the IDF's achievements and the battles," she said. "We made a mistake that for the first three weeks the pictures were all pictures of missiles."