Former Chief of Staff Danny Halutz on Saturday compared Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Hitler, over a comment his wife Sara made in 1999. She reportedly said, following her husband’s election defeat to Ehud Barak, “Let the state burn, it won’t hold up without Bibi.” Halutz actually said on Saturday: “Hitler also said stuff in 1920 but only became a ruler in 1933.”
I’m not making this up.
Danny Halutz was appointed IDF chief of staff in February 2005 because then Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz did not trust then-chief of staff Moshe Yaalon to obey the order to expel the Jews of Gush Katif. Yaalon’s term was not extended by one year as has been the common practice until then, and Halutz, previously the air force commander and deputy chief of staff was expected to carry out the heartless order like a good soldier.
Halutz was an expert on things heartless. In July 2002, when the air force killed 14 civilians, including children, in Gaza, Halutz told a Haaretz interviewer: “If you insist on knowing what I feel when I release a bomb, then I’ll tell you: I feel a slight bump on the wing as a result of the release of the bomb. A second later it’s over, and that’s it. That’s what I feel.”
Left-wing NGOs at the time told the High Court of Justice that his callused attitude about human suffering should disqualify Halutz from becoming Chief of Staff. The court allowed the nomination with some rebuke, but ever since that episode, Halutz’s “slight bump on the wing” has been used to describe military insensitivity regarding civilian deaths.
Having proven himself a reliable and heartless executioner, with the expulsion of some 8,000 Jewish civilians from their homes, Halutz then drag the IDF and the country into the second Lebanon war of 2006, which resulted in 4,000 Hezbollah rockets hitting cities in northern Israel. Halutz resigned in disgrace days before a fact-finding commission issued its report on a war that the IDF fumbled despite its overwhelming military advantage.
Halutz lived out his life in quiet anonymity since then until the protest movement over the judicial reform offered him a chance to reenter Israel’s politics. Like Ya’alon, who gave up his attempts to reenter the Knesset when it became clear he couldn’t possibly attract voters, Halutz, too, has become the darling of the anarchistic left (that’s the folks who storm the highways, as opposed to the sane leftists who show up at the protest demonstrations).
The nasty Halutz comment about Netanyahu being like Hitler irked the Likud so much, that it issued a counter-statement on Shabbat, something it normally avoids: “Dan Halutz, who sold his shares on the eve of the Second Lebanon War, accuses Prime Minister Netanyahu of lack of patriotism.”
Yes, see, Maariv reported in August 2006, that Halutz contacted his investment manager at the Lev Dizengoff branch of Bank Leumi around 12:00 noon on the day the war broke out, and asked to sell his entire investment portfolio, NIS 120,000, which was managed at the branch.
Loyal and frugal.
Halutz is part of a group of former air force combat pilots who believe they can cash their service chips to resist the democratic process in Israel. They even posted a video threatening Likud Education Minister Yoav Kisch, a fellow fighter pilot, that if he won’t join them against his own government, he’d be forever banned from their exclusive club.
Thankfully, the commander of the real Air Force, Major General Tomer Bar, demanded that his enlisted and reserve soldiers not engage in politics in the name of the Air Force.