Mofaz Demands Clarifications From Netanyahu Over His 'Intention to Lead Israel to War With Iran'

Kadima chairman says prime minister 'crossing red lines' by bypassing public discourse, damaging relations with U.S. and losing control over his cabinet.

Israel's opposition head Shaul Mofaz sent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a letter on Monday demanding an urgent meeting on the Iranian issue. "I ask that this meeting be convened without delay, and address your intention to lead Israel to war," Mofaz wrote. According to law, the prime minister must brief the opposition head on a monthly basis.

Mofaz attached a classified document, copies of which were also sent to the defense minister, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and the chairman of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. According to Army Radio, the attached document included a number of questions concerning Israel's preparedness for a war with Iran and relations with the U.S.

Mofaz asked Netanyahu for information regarding reserves and equipment in various sectors such as medicine, foreign currency, raw materials (including fuel for the civilian and security-related sectors), civil aviation, sea ports, evacuation of strategic facilities and management of Israel's strategic inventories. Mofaz also asked for clarifications on the official U.S. position regarding an attack and the degree of understanding between Washington and Israel in terms of intelligence, operations, economy and the political arena.

Mofaz accused Netanyahu and his top ministers of "crossing red lines and neglecting the public discourse" on the most intimate security-related issues," saying this conduct "has become customary for you and your government." Whatever the motives are for not publicly discussing these issues, Mofaz added, they do not serve Israel's interests.

The Kadima chairman added that an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities would only achieve limited results, alongside "loss of life, grave damage to the home front and deep erosion of Israel's political situation – such action in immoral and operationally illogical under the circumstances."

In his letter, Mofaz also criticized Netanyahu for his handling of relations with the U.S. "What is the real goal behind widening the rift with the U.S.?" he asked. "Administration official have clearly illustrated to you, to the defense minister and to the undersigned the dramatic ramifications of an Israeli operation, which would [constitute] a blunt and illegitimate intervention in internal U.S. political processes in the run-up to the presidential election in November this year."

Mofaz also criticized Netanyahu's response to President Shimon Peres' objection to an attack. "The unrestrained attack you led against the president over the weekend points to a general loss of senses and control," he wrote. "It seems that you have lost self-control and control over the group of your anonymous advisers," he concluded, adding that the degree of hysteria projected by the prime minister reflects "a grave picture illustrated by your true intentions at this time."

Netanyahu (left) and Mofaz.
Tomer Appelbaum