Document Written by Elazar Two Years Ago, Released After His Death, Challenged Agranat Panel Finding
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Document Written by Elazar Two Years Ago, Released After His Death, Challenged Agranat Panel Finding

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A document which the late Gen. David (“Dado”) Elazar prepared two years ago challenging the findings of the Agranat Committee that as Chief or Staff he was responsible for Israel’s lack of military preparedness when the Yom Kippur War broke out, was made public today–one day after Elazar was buried with full military honors on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem. The retired former Chief of Staff died of a heart attack Thursday in Tel Aviv at the age of 51.

He submitted the document, at the time of his resignation in April, 1974, to Premier Yitzhak Rabin. members of the Cabinet and to the members of the Agranat Committee appointed by Premier Golda Meir in 1973 to investigate events leading up to the Yom Kippur War and Israel’s conduct of the battle.

In it, Elazar took issue with two charges levelled against him by the Agranat panel–that he did hot warn of the imminence of war in October, 1973 and that he, rather than the then Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, was responsible for Israel’s failure to mobilize in time.

Comments today on the so-called “Dado document” indicated that persons in senior positions found “loop holes” in the Agranat report and that some Cabinet ministers did not wholeheartedly back the findings but were reluctant to say so at the time. Some ministers, in fact, reportedly proposed the appointment of Elazar to be Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S., indicating their trust and high regard for the general after reading the Agranat report.


Elazar claimed in the document that Dayan failed to exercise his legal authority to call up the reserves on the eve of the Yom Kippur War because he was waiting for formal approval from Mrs. Meir. Even on the day the war broke out he delayed calling up two reserve divisions until approval was forthcoming from the Premier, which cost precious time, Elazar stated.

Therefore, he contended, the Agranat panel was remiss in not placing any responsibility on Dayan. He also claimed that some 400 intelligence reports, some of them warning of the imminence of war, were not shown to him by the intelligence branch. Had he received them, he might have alerted the government and the army, he wrote.

Elazar noted that every piece of intelligence he received was also received by the Defense Minister and that while the Chief of Staff had only one source of information–army intelligence–Dayan had access to many other sources. The Defense Minister thus bears the same responsibility as the Chief of Staff, but the Agranat Committee did not mention that and placed sole responsibility on his shoulder. Elazar claimed it his document.

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