Former Supreme Court justice Eliyahu Winograd, who headed the committee which probed the failures of the 2006 Second Lebanon War, came out against a possible unilateral strike on Iran Sunday, saying that such an attack could “endanger the future of Israel.”
Speaking in an interview with Army Radio, Winograd questioned whether Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak had taken into account the lessons learned in the aftermath of the Second Lebanon War as laid out by the Winograd Committee. “I am not convinced that the decision-makers will implement the findings of that report,” he said, adding, “If that is the case we are all in big trouble.”
The Winograd Committee report found that Israel’s political echelon failed in its planning of the Second Lebanon War and did not sufficiently consult with the military leadership in the lead-up to the conflict.
On Sunday Winograd lashed out at Netanyahu and Barak for advocating a strike on Iran despite senior defense establishment officials having voiced opposition to a strike. “All of the heads of the defense establishment, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), the Mossad, both former and current, and Military Intelligence, everyone is saying ‘Don’t attack!’, and only Barak and Netanyahu have decided yes?”
Winograd also questioned the preparedness of the Home Front to withstand the likely barrage of missiles that would follow an attack on Iran. He said that both Hezbollah and Hamas were likely to contribute to the “rain of missiles” on the Home Front, and it appeared that Israel had neither enough bomb shelters or gas masks to deal with such a counterstrike.
The former judge criticized Netanyahu for complaining about former defense officials talking publicly about an Iran strike while he himself had been more vocal than anyone. “You intend to act – sit down and shut up. Decide secretly if you’re attacking, and if you decide to attack-attack. But what are you talking for? So that the Iranians will be even more prepared and ready their missiles to target us?”
Winograd charged that both Barak and Netanyahu were acting irresponsibly in advocating a unilateral strike on Iran. “You are going to endanger our entire country, everything that we have built. Both the country physically and the economy.”
He slammed Barak for his comments that no more than 500 Israelis would die in a potential Iranian counterstrike. “No more than 500 killed, did you count, do you know? I don’t know what your considerations are. It is irresponsibility of the highest order,” he said.