Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Resignation after the Resignation

Shalom All,

That Ehud Olmert will not run for the leadership of Kadima in upcoming elections is hardly surprising. Not only is he facing accusations of corruption, but almost no one thinks that he has done a good job as Prime Minister. He led Israel through a disasterous mess in Lebanon, allowed Hamas to take over Gaza, watches as qassam after qassam lands in S'derot and simply gave in to Hizballah in a prisoner exchange. If the Israeli economy were not doing very well, Olmert would have been ousted long ago. Frankly, Olmert is no longer the issue. The issue is what happens now.

For certain, Israel cannot procede with any serious negotiations until a new Prime Minister takes office. The peace process is therefore on hold. For a little while, so are any plans to attack Iran or seek an agreement with Syria. Who will become the new PM?

Tsipi Livni is the favorite choice of many. She is a moderate who unlike the other choices does not have a long laundry list of negatives. I tend to believe that with the threat of a nuclear Iran increasing, Bibi Netanyahu has a fair shot at becoming the next Prime Minister and a strike on Iran would almost certainly follow his election.

It will be interesting to see what happens.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Deal that Made No Sense

Shalom All,

This week, Israel's captured soldiers finally were brought home. The amazing rescue effort, reminiscent of Entebbe, in which Israeli commandos rescued Regev and Goldwasser alive while delivering significant casualties on the side of Hizballah served to both raise the confidence of the Israeli population in its military and to scare those who would try to kidnap its citizens. The Arab world is laughing at Hizballah now!

Laughing. Well that much is true. The difference is that the Arabs are laughing at Israel and Israel is crying. Two mutilated corpses. That is what was brought home. That is what Hizballah handed over to Israel in order to receive the bodies of dozens of Hizballah fighters and to assure the release of several of its fighters including Sami Kuntar, a notorious child killer terrorist. Elation, joy, exstasy, pure unadulterated glee greeted Kuntar as he crossed into Lebanon and laughter at the weakness of Israel.

Negotiate with terrorists? Not Israel. No, Israel will simply give in to demands, going the extra mile to ensure that every organization that wants to kill its citizens will try to capture them in order to trade their mutilated corpses for live child killers. Hamas' leadership said today, "How much more should a live Israeli be worth?"

I did not write when this first was announced. I was too angry, too disgusted. I had dreamt that Israel had implanted Kuntar with a bomb and would detonate him alongside Nasrallah. There he is on TV for all the world to see, alive...and laughing.

A commentator that I heard recently remarked that "Why should groups bother to keep Israelis alive after capture if Israel will pay that much for them dead?" Israel needs to force Hamas to give up Shalit. It cannot negotiate.

This was a sad week in the history of Israel.