It was only when Ariel Sharon turned on his friends that the Israeli media, the "tzfonim," (Israeli elite,) the UN and international movers and shakers decided that he was Santa without the red hat. And now, when he's in that "living death" in Hadassa Hospital, we see that the disengaged from Jewish values, tradition and Land policies are continuing with Ehud Olmert, as Prime Minister.
Actually, it's becoming very clear that Ehud Olmert was directing things all along. Now, even though he's technically just a "substitute" Prime Minister, he's making real policy, dangerous policy. He has "declared war" on what he terms "illegal Jewish settlements," even neighborhoods that have gotten government support. He has been sending dozens of riot police to terrorize Jewish families living in Chevron. Any complaint by Arabs against Jews is taken more than seriously, while Jews are punished for defending themselves against Arab aggression.
The transition between Sharon and Olmert is too smooth for Sharon to have had been calling the shots.
Tonight I made a point of watching some news on TV. I had been away for a week and needed to get a handle of what was really going on, the "mood" of the country and all that.
I was surprised to see an unusually animated Tzachi Hanegbi explaining how Kadima's internal structure, where a small elite, even one person, will choose the list of Kenesset candidates, is perfectly fine.
"In actuality, the people don't really care if it's a committee of a few dozen, hundred, thousands or just one."
He went on voicing a cynicism that saddened me for two reasons. One is that it's still hard for me to see Geula Cohen's son as a cold, unprincipled cynic and also, because it's probably true. It really hurts that so many Israelis support what Sharon did in Disengagement.
Why are people attracted to bullies? Is it related to the Stockholm Syndrome? That's the phenomena in which victims become emotionally attached to the abuser, even defending him and being fearful of leaving him.
I was just in New York for a week, and I couldn't get over the concern for Sharon's health. People keep hoping that he'll recover. I keep seeing the Disengagement victims before my eyes, and I'm more concerned about them. But it was rare to hear anybody voicing concern over the people Arik Sharon "disengaged" from their homes.
Now I'm back, and see that Ehud Olmert is very comfortable in the role of Prime Minister. Tzachi was trying to paint a picture of a lovely "supermarket of opinions," within the leadership of Kadima. He considers it one of the strong points of his new party. Olmert to the left and him to the right; that's what he's selling. But remember, you had the same spread in the Likud. It just had a different reputation. It was considered "right wing."
But Kadima's modern, up-to-date. Within a couple of days of opening membership, thousands signed up by internet. I can't answer "why?" None of it attracts me. I want a political party with ideals and faith.