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How Israel’s Gaza War report became a political battlefield

Missing the purpose of the state comptroller's report to debate the Gaza War, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon are busy defending themselves while Education Minister Naftali Bennett marks a political victory.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) sits next to Education Minister Naftali Bennett during the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, 30 August  2016. REUTERS/Abir Sultan/Pool - RTX2NKGO
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Education Minister and HaBayit HaYehudi Chair Naftali Bennett was in high spirits as he wandered the halls of the Knesset on Feb. 27. In fact, the members of his party noted that he seemed unusually pleased with himself. Just one day before the release of the state comptroller's report on the performance of the Security Cabinet and the military leadership during the 2014 Operation Protective Edge in Gaza (with much of the report’s content leaked to the press), Bennett could claim an enormous victory. Indeed, the report describes him as the only minister who demanded that Israel take action against the threat posed by Hamas’ tunnels.

An old rabbinic adage says, "He who works hard before the Sabbath will have what to eat on the Sabbath." It could easily refer to Bennett, who was a member of the Security Cabinet during the operation. Even as the fighting was underway, he made a point of branding himself as the campaign's political victor. He was the young minister who challenged the prime minister, the defense minister and the chief of staff, all of whom failed in their management of the fighting in Gaza.

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