Daily Israel Report

Wikileaks: Netanyahu Would Have Used Flanking Move in Lebanon

Netanyahu told a congressman Israel's top leadership had lacked a sense of military maneuver in the Second Lebanon War.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 11/30/2010, 11:21 AM / Last Update: 11/30/2010, 11:13 AM

Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu outlined to American congressman Gary Ackerman in 2007 how he would have fought the Second Lebanon War, according to a document published by Wikileaks.

A diplomatic cable sent at the time to Washington DC by the US embassy in Tel Aviv detailed the conversation between Ackerman and Netanyahu. Netanyahu said the problem with the 2006 war was not its goals but rather "the disconnect between goals and methods,” the leaked cable reported.

“If the IDF had used a flanking move by a superior ground force, it could have won easily,” the report quoted then-Opposition Leader Netanyahu as saying. Instead of doing this, Israel "dripped troops into [Hizbullah's] gunsights," Netanyahu said, terming this approach "stupid." 

Netanyahu told Ackerman Israel's top leadership had lacked a sense of military maneuver. In addition, they had been afraid to take military casualties, but instead got many civilian casualties. “If Olmert had mobilized the reserves in ten days, seized ground, destroyed Hizbullah in southern Lebanon, and then withdrawn, he would be a hero today. Instead, Netanyahu predicted, Olmert will not last politically.”

Kadima members are realizing they cannot allow Olmert to stay in power, and Kadima itself might collapse since it was a "fake party," the once-and-future PM said.

Netanyahu also commented that Shimon Peres had admitted to him that the Oslo process had been “based on a mistaken economic premise,” and as a result “European and U.S. assistance to the Palestinians had gone to create a bloated bureaucracy, with PA employees looking to the international community to meet their payroll.”

Unlike what is being reported in some news sources, Netanyahu is not quoted as saying that Peres admitted the Oslo process was a mistake.