Officials: Peres possibly violated censorship laws (ISRAEL HAYOM) Shlomo Cesana, Mati Tuchfeld, Efrat Forsher, Gidoen Allon and Israel Hayom Staff 08/17/12)
Israel Hayom Articles-Index-Top
President: No Israeli military action will be undertaken in Iran
before U.S. presidential elections in November • Officials: Remark
may constitute severe violation of the censorship law as well as
violation of a law against exposing operational information.
In interviews with Israel´s Channels 2 and 10 on Thursday, President
Shimon Peres made several remarks that have infuriated government
The following issues have been highlighted by officials following
Peres´ controversial remarks:
1. In the past, Israeli presidents have refrained from meddling in
issues that are clearly the responsibility of the political echelon,
especially sensitive, classified, defense-related topics. Peres, say
government officials, deviated from this principle in his remarks to
the media on Thursday.
2. Peres claimed on Thursday that the Israeli strike on Iraq´s
nuclear reactor in 1981 was a mistake and the U.S. finished the job
during the First Gulf War. Peres said the reactor was not capable of
producing material for a nuclear weapon and the Iraqis had moved on
to the usage of centrifuges to enrich uranium. Only the Americans, he
said, were able to stop Iraq´s centrifuge program at a later stage.
According to government officials, this claim is unfounded. During
both Gulf wars, U.S. troops found very few centrifuges in Iraq and
there was no evidence of a large number of industrial centrifuges
operating in the country like those now operating in Iran. In any
case, in the First Gulf War in 1991, then-Iraqi President Saddam
Hussein did not possess nuclear weapons, which proves that the
Israeli strike in 1981 set back Iraq´s nuclear program at least ten
3. Peres is the author of the term "A new Middle East." Commenting on
the Islamic revolution in Egypt, Peres said that some good may yet
result from that process.
Officials point out that this remark by Peres comes at a time when
the Muslim Brotherhood effectively rules the country, President
Mohammed Morsi has recently sacked his senior military officers who
were considered watchdogs of the peace treaty with Israel, and Morsi
has reportedly deployed tanks and helicopter gunships in the Sinai
Peninsula without prior consultation with Israel, as the treaty
4. Peres said no Israeli military action will be undertaken in Iran
before presidential elections in the U.S. in November.
According to government officials, aside from the public debate on
the matter, Peres´ remark was a possible severe violation of the
censorship law as well as a violation of a law against exposing
operational information to an enemy.
5. Peres recalled that every U.S. president went to war, something he
felt meant that the current president would also do so against Iran
if it became necessary.
In fact, say the officials, since the beginning of the 1970s, most
U.S. presidents, including Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald
Reagen — excluding several small-scale military operations, such as
those in Grenada and Panama — did not involve the U.S. in war.
6. On Peres´ remarks about mistakes being made in situation
evaluations, officials say Peres was the architect of the Oslo
Accords, which led to the Second Intifada and the loss of 1,000
Israeli lives. Peres, they say, also supported Israel´s disengagement
from Gaza in 2005, saying "They can convert the evacuated settlements
in the Gaza Strip to Club Med holiday resorts."
Since settlements were evacuated from Gaza, the officials point out,
thousands of rockets have rained down on Israel, which forced the IDF
to carry out Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2008.
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