To lose their seats?
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Will we see an earthquake?

Winograd report’s effect depends on response of Israeli public, politicians

It will not be an exaggeration to assume that some people could not sleep last night.


Bereaved parents who have been waiting for long months to find out what shattered their world; Reserve soldiers who for a long time now have been trying to understand why the political leadership disappointed them; Government ministers who are all responsible for the decision-making process; The former IDF chief of staff, the former defense minister, and most of all the prime minister, whose entire term in office almost has been in the shadow of that war.


How did he sleep at night, our prime minister? What went through his head during those long hours, with strong winds pounding against the windows of his home? Does his stomach turn with concern? Does his heart pound? What does he feel in those hours, the last hours before the publication of the final report on the events of the summer of 2006, which left so much anger and confusion in their wake around here? And sadness. Plenty of sadness.


When the Winograd Commission members present their conclusions regarding the Second Lebanon War to the public this evening, another chapter in this unfinished war will end. Yet it is doubtful whether Justice Winograd’s conclusions would put an end to it. A thorough and intense investigation that took a year and a half and pertains to the decision-making processes that accompanied this controversial war would not put an end to the army’s self-reflection mode or to the disquiet and agitation experienced by the political establishment.


Nobody, with the exception of the five Winograd Commission members, knows what the full report to be presented to the public today contains. What we do know is that as opposed to the interim report, this one will offer a system-wide view and address the conduct of the military and of the political leadership, rather than the conduct of one person or another.


Prepare for disappointment 

In other words: commission members will not be placing a knife or a loaded gun on the desk of any of the main characters. What they will do is place a gun at the hands of the Israeli public. We will not see heads roll in the commission’s summary today. The commission has left this task to the public arena.


Will we see an earthquake as some people predict? It is doubtful whether such shock can be prompted yet again following the interim report. And following the High Court’s intervention, we can assume that the final report will be more moderate than the previous one, and that the wording will be cautious in all matters pertaining to specific figures.


If someone hopes for an earthquake, he may be disappointed. And if an earthquake indeed materializes, it is not the commission members who will cause it, and not the report they will present to the public this evening. What could cause such earthquake is the interpretation given to the report by the politicians: Those who would be glad to replace the current government, and those who fear such change.


פרסום ראשון: 01.30.08, 14:18
 new comment
See all talkbacks "Will we see an earthquake?"
This will delete your current comment