First tip: Check immediately, today, whether it is possible that one of your advisors or aides openly made the silly statements “we got out of it” and “champagne bottles were uncorked” following the Winograd report’s publication. Personally, I don’t believe you have even one fool like this in your office. But if it turns out there is someone like that, send him, as early as today, to collect his compensation payment and go home. Do everything to erase those idiotic statements from memory and be prepared for them to be used in the next election campaign. If I were running against you, I would make sure to remind you that there are 163 bereaved families that will “never get out of it.”
Second tip: Tell your advisors and aides to stop referring to you using terms such as “crafty politician,” “sophisticated spinmeister,” “sly leader,” etc. As you know, we elected a prime minister, not a manipulator or a shady dealer.
Third tip: Don’t listen to those around you or to the advice of sycophants, and do not fool yourself: The Winograd report is one of the harshest documents ever written in the State of Israel, perhaps even the harshest, and the picture that emerges from it is truly frightening. Take your time and read every word in the report. Do not ask your aides to do it for you and highlight the important sections. Read every word; you won’t have a second chance.
Fourth tip: Show respect (you’ve done it well so far) at all times, always, forever, to the bereaved families, disabled, and those awarded war citations. They paid the real price. If I was managing your schedule, I would find time for meetings with each family separately. First and foremost I would invite those who want to settle the score with you.
Fifth tip: Check as soon as possible what happened to the IDF commanders and civilians who were ousted or quit following that cursed war. Ask how they are and whether they found a new job and are doing ok in their new life. They will be your enemies until proven differently.
Sixth tip: Take under your wing the two people who were scarred by the war: Amir Peretz and Gal Hirsch. The final report is kind to them and clears them of many of the charges hurled at them during the war. In the heat of battle and immediately after the war, everyone, and especially the media, slammed them. They were butchered. Make sure that Peretz and Hirsch can hold their heads up high and boost their image. According to the report, there were people who did worse than them during the war. If you don’t do it, they won’t forget it.
Seventh tip: Ask Ehud Barak to take part in the IDF’s General Command meeting this week and deliver the speech of your life there: The people who will be listening to you are your backup. Don’t cover up, be open, and most of all, back them up and give them hope. Even the most heroic major general requires a pat on the back and the knowledge that you and your ministers stand by him.
Eighth and final tip: The people of Israel are walking around with their heads down these days. Do everything to establish an emergency national unity government, because in the coming year you will have to take several decisions that we haven’t seen since Israel’s establishment. Initiate the “Prime Ministers’ Club” (you, Bibi and Barak) as an additional consultation forum. Every morning, when you open your eyes, ask out loud: What will I do today for the security of the country?
And a bonus tip: Never embark on another war, unless the State of Israel is facing a grave threat. The two Lebanon wars, which were wars of choice, were a terrible, stinging failure. You want proof? Look at yourself.