Mofaz chides Olmert over Lebanon war


The Second Lebanon War marked the first time Israel failed to win a major military campaign, a senior Cabinet minister said.

“This was the first time in the history of Israel that we didn’t win,” Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, a former armed forces chief, told Israel’s Channel 2 television Saturday.

Mofaz, who had served as defense minister until shortly before the 2006 conflict, blamed “failed management” for the setbacks against Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas and hinted that he believes Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is to blame.

“The interim report points precisely at those who are responsible for this failure,” he said, referring to findings delivered by the Winograd Commission of inquiry last April that savaged Olmert, as well as his wartime defense minister and armed forces chief, both of whom resigned in disgrace.

The commission’s conclusions published last month were more sparing of Olmert, who has vowed to stay in office and implement the lessons of the Second Lebanon War.

Mofaz is a senior member of Olmert’s Kadima party and said he could run against the prime minister if an internal election is held.


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