Former Chief of Staff lashes out at MKs

Dan Halutz attacks MKs who criticized Shin Bet, compares them to monkeys.

Hezki Baruch,

Dan Halutz
Dan Halutz
Flash 90

Former IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz caused an uproar on Monday when he lashed out at Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev and coalition chairman MK David Bitan (Likud), who last week criticized the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) for recommending that the metal detectors be removed from the Temple Mount.

"These people simply do not understand that their ability to speak these words is because of the same 'delusional', 'non-serious' and 'cowardly' ones who have made it possible for them to get to where they are,” Halutz told Army Radio, referring to Regev and Bitan’s criticism of Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman.

“It is said that man evolved from monkeys. The problem is that in Israeli public life there are too many people who have not completed the transition process,” he added.

Regev later on Monday responded to Halutz’s comments, saying, "Dan Halutz's arrogance and rudeness made him a failed Chief of Staff, who was responsible for misconceptions. He ran the IDF arrogantly and could not accept criticism."

"His statement about Darwinism was not a slip of the tongue. It is a distorted, racist and dangerous worldview that must be condemned,” continued Regev.

"I reiterate my criticism of security bodies who believe 'they are never wrong.' It is permissible and desirable for the political echelon to cast doubts on intelligence positions and concepts. This is our role as a political echelon. The defense establishment must provide security only and leave policymaking to elected officials,” she stressed.

Bitan also responded to Halutz and said, "The failed and arrogant Chief of Staff, and the man who with his arrogance caused tremendous damage and failed in the Second Lebanon War, dares to utter a racist and arrogant statement."

Halutz, continued Bitan, “fails to understand that in a democracy, those who make decisions are elected officials and not people like him.”

Halutz served as Chief of Staff during the Gaza Disengagement and the Second Lebanon War. He resigned in January 2007, shortly before an official committee of inquiry issued a report blaming him, as well as then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz, for mishandling the war.

He was highly criticized from the first day of the war, when Hezbollah terrorists kidnapped and later killed soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. The same morning, he allowed himself to be interrupted to accept a phone call from his bank, advising him to sell shares in the stock market.