The Israeli government was meeting in a crowded room filled with cigarette smoke, at the end of one of the most difficult and frustrating days of the Yom Kippur War. The atmosphere was tense in view of reports on the situation at the front. Frightening rumours were flying around and questions were raised about why Israel had been caught unprepared and why the reserves had not been called up. Minister of Immigrant Absorption Natan Peled asked why the reserves were called up so late: if the problem was lack of intelligence, then something had gone wrong. Golda Meir asked him angrily if he wanted the government to appoint a commission of inquiry immediately.
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The Israeli government was meeting in a crowded room filled with cigarette smoke, at the end of one of the most difficult and frustrating days of the Yom Kippur War. The atmosphere was tense in view of reports on the situation at the front. Frightening rumours were flying around and questions were raised about why Israel had been caught unprepared and why the reserves had not been called up. Minister of Immigrant Absorption Natan Peled asked why the reserves were called up so late: if the problem was lack of intelligence, then something had gone wrong.
Golda Meir asked him angrily if he wanted the government to appoint a commission of inquiry immediately. This shows that as early as the second day of the war, the question of when and how to investigate the intelligence shortcomings preceding it and the insufficient preparations of the IDF was already in the air.
For example, in the government meeting on 14 October, several speakers said that now the families of the fallen had been informed and the IDF was about to go on the offensive, previously suppressed public criticism of the government would emerge. They proposed a discussion in order to define their attitude in the coming storm.
On 28 October she told the committee of newspaper editors that the matter was too serious and too painful to be solved by removing a few people from their posts. As a result of the public pressure, on 21 November a commission of inquiry into the events leading to the outbreak of the war was set up, headed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court, Shimon Agranat. On 1 April the commission published a partial report calling for the dismissal of several of those involved and for institutional changes.
The first two deal with the establishment of the commission, the next with the demand to widen its authority and the rest with the partial report and its findings. But these military successes did not relieve the gloom felt by the public. Many asked why Israel had been taken by surprise and demands for an investigation were made in the Knesset and the media. They expected the government to answer these demands. But this did not happen; instead the leadership turned its attention to the diplomatic moves which had already begun during the fighting.
While she was away the demands for an investigation mounted. On her return, Golda again met with the newspaper editors on 6 November, and repeated her criticism of the pressure for an immediate investigation and for heads to roll. But does it have to be done now? The editors replied that the press reflected public feeling and that the government was not sufficiently aware of it. After consultations with the attorney general, Meir Shamgar, Golda decided on a full commission of inquiry.
Meanwhile on 8 November she left for a meeting of the Socialist International in London. On 11 November the government discussed the issue in her absence. Deputy Prime Minister Yigal Allon told his colleagues that the prime minister would soon bring up the subject of investigation of the events of the war.
Elazar referred to the rumours and innuendos which were current and to criticism by senior reserve commanders. Although there was much to investigate, the army had been on alert before the outbreak of war and the fighting had been well managed. Some ministers could not refrain from hinting that they planned to ask the prime minister hard questions about her failure to share information with them just before the war.
Why was a government meeting not called? The secrecy and the impartiality of the investigation would be ensured, it would examine everything without mercy and hear everything that needed to be said. In this case there would be no government debate on the circumstances of the war, especially as the contents of government meetings were constantly being leaked to the press. For years she had excluded most of them from sensitive security issues, and they resented it.
Now, although the subject was not on the agenda, ministers from the coalition parties began to voice harsh criticism of the prime minister who had not shared sensitive information and excluded them from the discussions. Is the danger of war a matter for consultations with Tel Aviv residents only?
Is it not for the Ministerial Committee on Security to discuss such a fateful subject? The ministers wanted to discuss the war and felt that Golda was blocking them. Minister Yosef Burg of the National Religious party rejected her argument that a debate was unnecessary if a commission of inquiry were set up.
They also referred to the general elections scheduled for 31 December, and hinted that the Labour leadership had decided on a secret commission to prevent public debate and the full exposure of the failures on the eve of the elections. Another NRP minister, Zerah Warhaftig, said that the government should not keep information from the electorate which was to decide its fate.
Golda reacted angrily to these attacks, which she felt were politically motivated and directed against her and the defence minister, Moshe Dayan.
Whose heart is heavier? There is no X-ray machine to find out. What do you want? To throw — not you, you are all perfectly blameless, but first of all, to throw the prime minister and the defence minister and the other ministers to the wolves? It might certainly be convenient for some, but not to me. She could not call a meeting over every issue. If the leader of the opposition, Menachem Begin, was elected he would call a government meeting three times a day. She would accept all the conclusions of the commission even if they went against her.
Let them. During the first few days we were weak, and weak people have nothing to hope for in this world. There were voices, which are still being heard… saying never mind, let both sides suffer, it will help. I am sure that the basis for our stand is that we were attacked. Try and explain afterwards that it was perfectly clear that we would be attacked and therefore we attacked first.
From the Six Day War until today we have not managed to explain it. Yigael Yadin and Haim Laskov. There was much public criticism of the delay, and Golda admitted in a party meeting on 5 December that the government might have been a week or two late in setting up the commission. Part 2. For example, in January Prof. On 27 January the government discussed a series of interviews given by General Res. On five occasions, according to Gonen, Sharon had disobeyed his specific orders and his actions had led to failures which cost many lives.
Both the military advocate general and the attorney general had recommended disciplinary action against Sharon. Elazar himself had talked to Sharon, who promised to stop giving interviews, but had not kept his word. If he admitted disobeying orders, it could not be ignored. All the ministers expressed deep concern about the effects of the affair on the IDF and the damage to its image. Most supported passing on the issue to the commission, even though it referred to the later stages of the war.
Shimon Peres, Pinhas Sapir and Warhaftig proposed to extend the time period examined. If it could not do so, he would propose setting up a special commission. As for Gorodish [Gonen], he has complaints. His complaints are against me and not Arik. It was not Arik who relieved him of the Southern command, it was I. Gorodish is screaming to high heaven. I did not sign the appointment of Sharon as a divisional commander and I could not cancel it. I was not a great admirer of him as a great divisional commander.
On this subject I differ from the defence minister. So I think that in this war only good would have come out of it if he had been removed earlier. But my recommendation was not accepted. The government decided to condemn his statements and to back the COGS. On 1 April it published a partial report sometimes mistakenly called the interim report. It included a series of recommendations, but public attention focused on the personal ones.
The commission blamed the head of Military Intelligence Eli Zeira and the head of his Research Unit Arye Shalev for this failure, and recommended they be removed.
The COGS was found responsible for the operational and intelligence failures up to the outbreak of war and his removal was also recommended. What about their ministerial responsibility? On 2 April an extraordinary government meeting was held to discuss the partial report.
First Justice Minister Haim Zadok surveyed the conclusions and recommendations in the report, followed by the personal recommendations. Zadok was followed by Kol, who questioned the prime minister about the role of Military Intelligence and the Mossad in passing on intelligence warnings that war might break out.
Meir explained the distinction between reports and evaluation of the data. It gets reports, and passes them on to Military Intelligence. Military Intelligence also collects reports, but its main task is assessing all the reports it receives. The problem was in their assessment. But there was a matter of assessment of all those reports which reached us directly and also those which came from foreigners.
There were reports and assessments from outsiders, but there was no conflict in reports. This is the only know comment by Golda Meir on a subject which remains a matter of controversy to this day.
While the ministers were arguing about the recommendations, the new minister of labour, ex-Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin, suddenly intervened, asking Zadok if it was possible to return the report to the commission and to ask why it had evaded one of the main questions in their terms of reference, in deciding not to go into the authority and responsibility of the government.
Rabin thus hinted that the commission had placed all the blame on the army, while the government got off scot free. Zadok said that the report could not be returned to the committee. COGS Elazar then spoke with great emotion. He announced his decision to resign and read out the letter of resignation he had sent the prime minister, in which he rejected the conclusions of the commission on his actions one by one.
In the war room of Southern Command, 8 October Pinhas Sapir also hinted that the recommendations had been made in a hurry and he was supported by another ex-general, Aharon Yariv. There was an argument whether to appoint a replacement for the COGS at once, and other ministers hinted that the discussion was not over, and that the commission had in fact put the ball in the court of the government.
AGRANAT REPORT PDF
Sakora On 31 Decemberelections that had been delayed by the war took place. Yom Kippur War revelations underline gravity of Iran dilemma facing Israel today. This report caused public uproar and unhappiness in the army. Agranat Commission — Wikipedia What was the situation on 28 October the last day of the war?
AGRANAT COMMISSION REPORT PDF
The repercussions of the Agranat Report The Agranat Commission conclusions shook the very foundations of the state, not less than the war itself, forcing changes in the military and political echelons, and raising a public storm, due the fact the most of the blame was cast upon the military. The publication of the Agranat Report Since its submission, the report emerged again and again in association with the conduct of the war. In April , following a petition to the High Court of Justice demanding a publication of the report, the Government decided to allow scrutinizing of it with limiting conditions non-disclosure of alertness and intelligence issues, privacy, etc. The exposure work was done by the field security branch of the General Staff and was carried at the IDF and Defense Establishment Archive, which allocated the necessary resources. The "Agranat Commission Report" is seven volumes long, including the three original reports.
The report consists of 2, pages in 6 volumes. The conclusions of the report inspired the creation of an advisor to the Prime Minister on intelligence matters, and of a special AMAN military intelligence unit tasked with the creation of a situation evaluation that is the opposite of the accepted one. It has not functioned properly however. Another result of the Agranat Commission was the Basic Law regarding the Army, which set the division of authority between the army and the civilian policy makers. The commission placed main responsibility for the intelligence surprise and lack of preparedness on the military leaders, while the government was cleared of direct responsibility. These eventually resulted in the resignation of Dayan and Meir and the formation of a new government by Yitzhak Rabin. The Israeli public viewed the treatment of the political leaders as a whitewash, and that was probably an accurate assessment.