Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
Photo: AP
Defense minister Ehud Barak
Photo: AFP

Olmert in book: Barak tried to prevent Gaza op

Former prime minister's autobiography filled with harsh criticism of defense minister in both military and political arenas. 'Complete and utter nonsense,' says Barak

Ehud against Ehud – round two. An additional excerpt of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's autobiography has reached Ynet Thursday night. Like previous excerpts it also includes harsh accusations against defense minister Ehud Barak.


In the book, which is set to be published soon, Olmert accuses Barak of establishing the ' tahadiya' (temporary lull) with Hamas, a lull which broke down a short time later, and which in his opinion increased the threat to Israel from the Gaza strip.


Olmert claimed that Barak tried to prevent carrying out Operation Cast Lead in every way he could, including through presenting exaggerated data before the cabinet and the inner cabinet over the time needed in the field to complete the operation and the estimation of the number of casualties the operation would incur. These details, the book claims, affected the decision making process.


In the book Olmert tells of how he understood that the information supplied by Barak fell out of line with the reality he witnessed on a tour of the area with Southern Command officers, who, he claims, shared calmer predictions.


In addition, he blamed Barak for operating in complete opposition to a government decision ruling that 60,000 reserve soldiers should be mobilized to clean out Hamas cells in Gaza. He claims that Barak only mobilized a third of the agreed forces in order to make it difficult to carry out the goals of the operation.


Referring to final stages of battle, Olmert accused Barak of running out of the Gaza Strip at the end of the operation and noted that Barak refused to leave forces in the field, rushing to withdraw, in spite of fears that a withdraw would be seen as a retreat under fire and a success for Hamas.


Olmert didn't limit his criticism against Barak to the military level – Barak is criticized for his political dealings as well. Olmert accuses him of working behind the government's back when Barak attempted to form a ceasefire agreement through the French foreign minister – without alerting the inner cabinet. When the details of the plan were revealed, Olmert claims that Barak thought an apology for his moves was all that was needed and refused to go back on the plan.


In light of these harsh accusations, Barak stated that the events described were "complete and utter nonsense spoken by a man in straitened circumstances who is trying to shirk his responsibilities for irresponsible behavior on serious issues.


"We have heard much of Olmert's leadership, behavior, and credibility from author David Grossman, Judge Eliyahu Winograd, and soon – from the courts."



פרסום ראשון: 12.24.10, 00:45
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