Photo Credit: Uri Lenz; Chaim Goldberg/Flash90
Haim Ramon (R) vs. Aviv Kochavi

Haim Ramon, 74, is a Labor politician who served as MK between 1983 and 2009, and as both Vice Prime Minister and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office with responsibility for state policy. He was also Minister of Health, the Interior, and Justice. He also served as secretary-general of the Histadrut, Israel’s biggest labor union.

In short, Haim Ramon is the ultimate insider, although his career was snapped on August 17, 2006, when then-Attorney General Manny Mazuz indicted Ramon on suspicion of committing an indecent act without consent. The complainant H., a young officer in the Prime Minister’s Office, claimed that on July 12, 2006 (the day the Second Lebanon War broke out), Ramon French-kissed her. It was a career-ender for a stellar politician who had made many enemies.


On May 9, the man who knows everyone tweeted a lengthy j’accuse which I will translate in full:

True, there are more important things than referring to Aviv Kochavi’s speech, such as the halting of arms to Israel (a big mistake by President Biden), the operation in Rafah, and more. But the things said by the former Chief of Staff still require detailed consideration.
Since October 7, former (and not former) high officials in the political and military ranks have been trying to rewrite history and clear themselves of responsibility for the failure. They claim that they did not at all support the concepts of “containing Hamas,” and “isolating Hamas,” and the illusion of “Hamas is deterred,” when in fact they supported them wholeheartedly, and none of them demanded the dissolution of Hamas.
Yesterday tapes were released with a speech given by the former Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi at a conference in the US. Kochavi’s words are full of lies and distortions and are an extreme example of a former executive escaping responsibility.
Kochavi claimed that “we never promised that Hamas would be deterred for the years to come, not even for the coming months. When August 2021 came around, we saw a change in Hamas, and we indicated that something new was happening.”
This is a blatant lie. As Chief of Staff, Kochavi was the first and foremost promoter of the “deterred Hamas” illusion, also and especially after August 2021. And it’s not only about his command responsibility for spreading the “deterred Hamas” lie among decision-makers and the public but his insistence on this disastrous illusion against anyone who tried to challenge it.
In April 2022, Kochavi said that “this was the quietest year of the past 15 years,” and explained that “the quiet year is largely due to the extent of the damage and the intensity of the damage that Hamas and the other terrorist organizations suffered.” Even in December 2022, shortly before he ended his post, he stated that “Hamas does not respond to our attacks and does not even consider responding,” as a result of “a strategy whose main component was the use of force. The trilogy of Operations Black Belt, Guardian of the Walls, and Breaking Dawn created a very strong deterrent in the Gaza Strip.”
Kochavi even said in his speech that the IDF under his command perfectly understood what was going on, and the Hamas tunnels did not come as a surprise to the army. These are lies. After entering Gaza (in October 2023 – DI), the IDF was very surprised by the extent of the tunnels built by Hamas and discovered huge underground complexes that it had no idea about their construction. Moreover, the statement, “We understood perfectly what was happening,” is not only an attempt by Kochavi to deny the huge intelligence failure of the military both in understanding Hamas’s intentions to attack Israel and in identifying its long-term preparations for the attack but is also an unparalleled audacity.
But the peak of Kochavi’s lies came when he explained why an operation to kill Sinwar was not carried out. “I can tell you that this is why we tried to carry out an operation to kill Sinwar and Deif,” he said. “We tried and it’s difficult. In densely populated areas, it’s very difficult.” Then he said, “We worked for months to bring about an elimination operation, but we couldn’t.”
I confess that this lie managed to surprise me since Kochavi literally stopped the operation to eliminate Sinwar with his body. In September 2021, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett ordered to prepare such an operation. After that, Bennett held a meeting every week to check the progress of the operation, and in each such meeting, Kochavi explained that the IDF was not sufficiently prepared for a confrontation with Hamas and that Sinwar was generally deterred.
After the terrorist attack in Elad in May 2022, Bennett demanded that Kochavi carry out the operation. Kochavi strongly opposed and said to the Prime Minister the following amazing sentence: “If you want me to advance a plan to eliminate Sinwar, you have to convince me first that it is worth the war that will start following this elimination because I am the one who will have to explain later to the soldiers and also to the bereaved parents.”
In the face of Kochavi’s adamant opposition to the assassination, and the support that Defense Minister Benny Gantz gave to the Chief of Staff’s position at the time, Bennett folded and the assassination did not take place. After that, Kochavi further told his men that someone had to be the adult in charge in the room and that the Prime Minister was in a childish trans that might have led Israel to a needless war.
The sad truth is that Kochavi is not the only former leader who pushed the concept of “containing Hamas,” and spread the illusion that “Hamas is deterred.” In the past 15 years, none of the prime ministers, defense ministers, chiefs of staff, and other senior political and security officials supported collapsing Hamas’s rule. Some supported the targeted elimination of one or another Hamas leader, but as is well known from the past, this would not have led to the collapse of Hamas’s rule.
Kochavi’s speech is not only riddled with shameful lies but also testifies to the depth of the conceptzia regarding Hamas of which the former Chief of Staff was a prisoner. Hearing what he said, it is no wonder that the Chief of Staff did not have a ready plan for the occupation of the Strip and that the IDF was not at all prepared for war against Hamas.
It would be appropriate that Kochavi and his ilk, instead of trying to distort history to clear themselves of responsibility, apologize to the soldiers and the bereaved parents for their great responsibility for the failure, and then wrap themselves in silence and disappear from public life.

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