Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
Halutz: No solution for Qassams
Photo: Alex Kolomoisky

Halutz: Conflict with US must be avoided

Former IDF chief warns government that while differences in opinion are legitimate, it should avoid conflict with Americans, on whose equipment Israel 'relies heavily'; also justifies operations of Second Lebanon War

Former IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. (res) Dan Halutz, warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against engaging in a diplomatic conflict with the United States. He also reminded Netanyahu that despite criticisms regarding the Second Lebanon War, Hizbullah has not attacked Israel since it ended.


Speaking at a meeting of Tel Aviv University's academic-business club on Sunday, Halutz said: "We must not reach a situation of conflict with the Americans. This doesn't mean we can't have differences of opinion, but not a conflict. We may not be dependent on the US, but we rely heavily on American equipment."


Regarding the Qassam threat the former IDF chief said, "The IDF does not possess the ability to thwart short-range rockets. I sincerely hope we will have this ability, but to believe that such a system will provide a fool-proof solution is an illusion."


Halutz also recounted episodes from the Second Lebanon War. "Many things we do in life turn out as things that could have been done differently. The methods of operation in Lebanon were carried out according to plan, but they took longer than we expected. I know to point out the specific places where things went wrong."


"I have a lot of criticism towards myself and towards others, but if you're looking to make comparisons then you need the right parameters," Halutz added. "There were a lot of failings during the Second Lebanon War that were reminiscent of the Yom Kippur War. On the other hand, there were also a lot of successes. The test is the end result, three years with no (rocket) attacks in the North and Hizbullah still hiding in bunkers – that's not something to take for granted."


Asked whether the IDF had an opportunity to take out Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, Halutz said: "Targeting terrorists is something the IDF has always done, but if we had taken out Nasrallah then we just would have ended up with some other 'allah."


Halutz also addressed the arrogant image associated with his persona. "I guess the 'haughty and arrogant' image comes from the stereotypes about pilots, even though I never lived up to those (stereotypes).


פרסום ראשון: 05.31.09, 23:43
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