Olmert, Netanyahu face off over Winograd


Ehud Olmert and Benjamin Netanyahu faced off in the Knesset over the Second Lebanon War.

The Israeli prime minister appeared in parliament late Monday to deliver his first full response to the conclusions of the Winograd Commission of inquiry, which chronicled the failings of the military and government in waging the 2006 offensive against Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas.

“Were I faced again by the situation, I would make the same decisions,” Olmert said, referring to his decision to go to war after Hezbollah abducted two Israeli soldiers in a border raid.

Olmert reminded skeptical right-wing lawmakers of the fact that Winograd also saw successes in the war, and that the campaign had universal support in the coalition government and parliament when it began.

Though Netanyahu, Israel’s opposition leader, was among those Olmert mentioned as having backed the war, he attacked the prime minister in a rebuttal speech.

Olmert’s decision not to resign like his wartime defense minister and military chief, Netanyahu said, “was like the captain of the Titanic, had he lived, being given another ship.”

The prime minister’s appearance was disrupted when a group of Israelis whose soldier sons were killed during the war heckled him from the VIP gallery.



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