Commentary Magazine


Olmert, the Inartful Dodger, Dodges Again

At first glance, it appears, judging from early news stories on the report of the official Israeli commission on the conduct of the 2006 Lebanon war, that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has once again dodged a bullet. The Winograd Report was evidently written with great care precisely so that it could not be used as a political weapon against any individual figure in Israel. The report contains no recommendations, and “refrain[s] from imposing personal responsibility,” in the words of its executive summary:

It should be stressed that the fact we refrained from imposing personal responsibility does not imply that no such responsibility exists. We also wish to repeat our statement from the Interim Report: We will not impose different standards of responsibility to the political and the military echelons, or to persons of different ranks within them.

Translation: Hey, we’re not bringing down anybody’s government.

No wonder, in the words of the Jerusalem Post, “Olmert’s spokesman, Jacob Galanti, was quoted by Israel TV as saying the Prime Minister’s Office was ‘breathing a sigh of relief.’”