MK Ophir Pines-Paz on Sunday asked Attorney General Menachem Mazuz to investigate Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's attempt to appoint one of his unofficial advisers during the Second Lebanon War to the panel investigating the conflict
As Haaretz reported a week ago, Yedidya Ya'ari, chairman of RAFAEL, the Armaments Development Authority and former commander in chief of the navy was one of four unofficial advisers with whom the prime minister secretly conferred prior to deciding on a wide ground offensive in the last days of the war.
Mazuz disqualified Ya'ari from serving on the Winograd Commission, which was formed in order to investigate the failures in the conduct of the political and military echelons during the war. Mazuz found Ya'ari in conflict of interest as the CEO of RAFAEL, which is under the direct authority of the defense minister, who is among those investigated by the commission.
Pines-Paz wrote a letter to Mazuz, asking if Olmert had reported his relationship with Ya'ari when he appointed him to the commission, or perhaps "tried to plant a senior associate in the commission."
"In case the [nature of the relationship] was in fact concealed from you?this could be considered suspicion of criminal breach of trust on the part of the prime minister."
The Prime Minister's Office issued a response saying "the prime minister spoke with dozens of people during the war and consulted all of them. This is not sufficient to disqualify them from this position or that, and the insinuation of criminal activity is stupid and baseless."
Olmert consulted three additional people during those fateful hours prior to deciding to launch a major operation in Lebanon, Amiram Levine, former head of the Israel Defense Forces' Northern Command; Haim Assa, a strategy consultant who co-authored a book on military doctrine in the 21st century with Ya'ari; and Kalman Geyer, a pollster who had advised two previous premiers.
The four advised him to launch the operation in an effort to influence the United Nations Security Council's emerging cease-fire resolution, but to halt it immediately if a resolution favorable to Israel were adopted.
As far as is known, Olmert did not inform the Winograd Commission of this meeting, nor did the committee hear testimony from any of these men.