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PM's aides: Peretz's behavior foolish [Peretz supports state commission of Inquiry]

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    PM s aides: Peretz s behavior foolish http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3298283,00.html Olmert s aides slam defense minister s decision to toe Labor
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31, 2006
      PM's aides: Peretz's behavior foolish

      Olmert's aides slam defense minister's decision to toe Labor party line,
      support establishment of state commission of inquiry. 'Peretz acting like man
      under pressure, trying to save his own skin,' source close to PM says

      Attila Somfalvi
      Latest Update: 09.01.06, 00:52

      Defense Minister Amir Peretz has changed his mind and decided to support the
      establishment of a state commission of inquiry to investigate the Lebanon war,
      sources close to Peretz reported Thursday.

      In light of the growing public and partisan pressure exerted on the defense
      minister in recent days to oppose the governmental inquiry commissions
      appointed by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Peretz consulted with his advisors
      how he should act. The minister is now expected to demand the setting up of an
      inquiry commission headed by a judge, along with the majority of his faction

      Close aides of the PM were infuriated with Peretz's decision.

      "This behavior is foolish. Amir Peretz is acting like a politician who lost
      all control," they said. "His decision is surprising since he was the first to
      announce the commission of inquiry led by Amnon Lipkin-Shahak. He's acting
      like a man under pressure who is trying to save his skin," they stated.

      Meanwhile, officials in the Prime Minister's Office said that "the defense
      minister has the right to do what he sees fit. We are not happy with the
      decision, but this is not expected to influence the relations between the two.
      The coalition will not fall because of this."

      Opposition within Labor

      What brought about the dramatic turn in the defense minister's stance is
      apparently Peretz's concern that Olmert's decision to create two committees
      would concentrate the probe's attention on him, as head of the military
      echelon. Another major reason for the change of heart is Peretz's desire to
      toe the party line.

      In recent days, Peretz stressed that he is ready to face any investigating
      commission, and also pointed an accusing finger at his predecessors, hinting
      to Former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz's responsibility for the IDF's
      shortcomings during wartime.

      Contrary to the chairman, Labor Ministers Binyamin Ben Eliezer, Isaac Herzog
      and Shalom Simhon, are still firm in their objection to a state commission of
      inquiry. The three said that even if the faction decides to support the
      establishment of such a commission during Friday's faction meeting, they were
      not obliged to vote against the PM's proposal in the cabinet.

      First Published: 08.31.06, 21:49
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