Ignoring calls for an independent state commission of inquiry, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has decided to establish two committees to investigate the handling of the Lebanon war by the government and the military.
"A state inquiry commission headed by a judge would paralyse the entire system. Everyone would then get a lawyer and concentrate on how to pin the blame on someone else. This would not fix what needs to be fixed", Olmert argued rejecting the popular demand.
"We do not have the luxury to sink into investigations of the past, we need to focus on the future and the Iranian threat," he emphasised.
While the investigation into the way the government conducted the war will be headed by former Mossad chief Nahum Admoni, the committee of inquiry examining the conduct of the military during the war will apparently be based on the panel appointed by Defense Minister Amir Peretz.
Arguing further in favour of his decision, the Prime Minister told leaders of the northern communities assembled in Haifa that he did not want to put the army in a position of "self-flagellation."
Neither of the committees will have the legal authority to summon witnesses and the inquiries fall short of demands for an independent, in-depth probe with the authority to dismiss top government officials.