Chief of the Israel Defense Forces Northern Command Maj. General Udi Adam, who was the top commander of the Lebanon war, has announced today that he will be resigning from the IDF. Chief of Staff Dan Halutz accepted Adam’s resignation, which will take effect in one week.
Adam is the first senior IDF officer to resign from the army because of the war. According to published reports, Adam had decided to quit the IDF a month ago during the war, when Chief of Staff Halutz decided to appoint Deputy Chief of Staff, Maj. General Moshe Kaplinsky as his personal representative in the Northern Command, a move that was seen by many as an ousting of Adam from his command of the war.
The move comes at a time when there are many voices calling for the resignation of the top officials responsible for the failures during the war including COS Halutz, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Adam will stay in his position until the last soldier leaves Lebanese territory, a time estimated at about a week.
Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor) said in response to the resignation that “I salute General Adam, who proved that the IDF's tradition of responsibility is in his heart. I call on Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz to look the Israeli public and bereaved families in the eye, to take responsibility and go home,” Ben-Eliezer said. Knesset Member Arye Eldad (National Union) also responded and said that “Major-General Udi Adam showed the State of Israel this morning how an officer with dignity, self-respect and an ability to assume responsibility acts.” Eldad added that “If Olmert, Peretz, and Halutz had a moral spine, they would have followed in his footsteps today.”
In contrast to the calls for major resignations and a National Investigative Committee, Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres said yesterday that he does not support such a committee, and that Israel must concentrate on strengthening the army for future threats: terrorism and missiles. Peres spoke to reservists, who are protesting in favor of such a committee, and are calling for the resignation of Halutz, Peretz, and Olmert.
Meanwhile, a Knesset subcommittee has concluded its inquiry into the treatment of the home front by the government and the local municipalities during the war. The conclusions were unequivocal: the committee gave a failing grade to those responsible. Examples include not legally declaring war, and not calling up enough reservists to assist the residents during their time in the bomb shelters.