The blows just keep on coming to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert: the State Comptroller disqualified two senior members of the PM’s Governmental Inquiry Committee on grounds of conflict of interest because of their professional connections to the security establishment.
At a time when PM Olmert is trying to fend off public demands for the creation of a National Investigative Committee to examine the failures of the war in Lebanon, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss (photo) rejected David Ivri and Yedidia Yaari from taking part in the lower level Government Inquiry Committee. According to a common practice in these kinds of appointments, the Comptroller gives a legal opinion on the validity of members that might have conflicting interests within the committee.
The two senior officials were disqualified due to their deep connections with the Israeli security establishment: David Ivri, former commander of the Israel Air Force, represents Boeing in Israel and Yedidya Yaari, former commander of the Israeli Navy, currently heads Rafael - Israel’s Armament Development Authority. Both Boeing and Rafael are major suppliers of the Ministry of Defense and thus they could not efficiently scrutinize the security establishment.
Olmert called the two yesterday and thanked them for their willingness to serve, and said he will announce replacements in a short time.
The disqualification of the two is seen as a major blow to the Prime Minister who decided to create a Government Inquiry Committee instead of a National Investigative Committee. Both Ivry and Yaari were seen as important members due to their extensive military background and their intimate knowledge of the security establishment in Israel.
PM Olmert spoke yesterday at the inauguration ceremony of the first Kadima headquarters in Tiberias and said that the failures which happened during the war are the result of many years, and are not the sole responsibility of his administration. “The failures that were revealed during the war have been a part of our fabric for many years,” he said, adding that if no government in the past could have given the proper protection to the population, his administration could and will do so.