Tuesday, September 12, 2006
The Backpedaling Prime Minister
As Caroline Glick has reminded us
We should recall that Olmert stated at the outset of the war that Israel's goals were to secure Regev and Goldwasser's unconditional release, disarm Hizbullah, and remove its fighters from the border. The nation fully supported all of these goals - none of which was achieved…By going to war, Israel placed the initiative for freeing the soldiers in its own hands. By agreeing to the cease-fire without first securing their release, Olmert effectively handed the power to determine their fate to Hizbullah. But rather than acknowledge his failure, Olmert attacks the public for having believed him.
So here’s the first backpedal – none of the stated goals of the war were achieved, which means we should still be at war – except our Prime Minister backpedaled!
Then, we weren’t going to withdraw our troops until the entire UNIFIL troops were in place, AND we received our captives back. But, as Caroline continues…
The government's dereliction of duty regarding the IDF captives is of course but one component of its overall failure in managing the war and the cease-fire in Lebanon. Other components are the result of the government's capitulation to all UN and European demands and positions. These include Israel's acceptance of the participation of soldiers from hostile states in the UNIFIL force, and its resignation to the assertion that UNIFIL forces will not disarm Hizbullah, will not patrol the Lebanon-Syria border to enforce an arms embargo against Hizbullah, and will not force Hizbullah fighters to abandon their positions in southern Lebanon.
Then, Israel Harel of Ha'aretz tells us,
Israel, a regional power in its own eyes that was fighting a small guerrilla outfit, did not have the power, sense, or willpower to condition the cease-fire on the release of the soldiers, or at least to demand their hand-over to a third party that could guarantee their welfare. Our victory was so great that we insisted that a force consisting of 15,000 UN soldiers, including ones from "friendly states" such as Malaysia and Indonesia - and France, of course - would serve as a buffer between us and the enemy that we routed.
And what about the blockade, which was to insure that the captive soldiers were not taken out of Lebanon to Iran or elsewhere, and that no more weaponry would reach Hizbullah?
´Lifting the Lebanon Blockade Means Abandoning the Captives´
"So says Gen. (ret.) Uzi Dayan, head of the Return the Captives task force."
And from a Jerusalem Post editorial:
The air and sea blockade of Lebanon, lifted by Israel at 6 p.m. yesterday, was supposed to be in place until all international forces had arrived and Israel had at least received information regarding its kidnapped soldiers in Lebanon. Only about one-fifth of the planned international forces is in place, there is no mechanism to secure the Lebanese-Syrian border and Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev not only remain captive, but the government has received no confirmation regarding their condition. Why, then, was the blockade lifted? Defense Minister Amir Peretz said it was lifted because the US asked Israel to lift it.
So he backpedaled on the troop withdrawal, the makeup of the UNIFIL contingent, and the blockade. As if that wasn’t enough, what about the release of Gilead Shalit? Wasn’t any meeting with Abu Mazen [Abbas] supposed to be only after he was released?
Olmert told reporters that he plans to meet with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) in the near future. Though just last week he said he would not meet with Abbas before captive soldier Gilad Shalit is released, he no longer has set any preconditions for such a meeting.
Hmmm…more backpedaling, it seems.
But don’t worry, he even backpedaled on the “Hitkansut/Convergence” plan:
Olmert expressed his willingness and intention to advance the Quartet's Road Map Plan between Israel and the PA. He announced that the Realignment Plan, his main election campaign platform, was no longer relevant. The Road Map plan, initiated in 2002, calls for an end to terrorism, an end to Israel's settlement activity, and the formation of a Palestinian state. Ex-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that the U.S. guaranteed that Israel could retain major settlement blocs in the Shomron, but this has not been borne out by the relevant documents. The plan has not yet made it to its first step.
Why has all this happened? – Perhaps Sarah Honig has the answer:
Any normal country - and Israel most categorically isn't normal - would simply destroy towns and villages that serve as rocket bases against its civilians. Bint Jbail and Maroun el-Ras shouldn't have been left standing. That's what America would do, or Russia, Britain and most undoubtedly duplicitous France. One would shudder to think how China would react. But Israel is different.The agent of our malady - that potent pathogen undermining our continued survival - is our excessive care about the world's opinion of us, while the world doesn't give a hoot about Israel's fate (and that's resorting to gross understatement). It's a chronic Jewish syndrome now turned into a full-blown existential hazard to the state and its people. Until we recognize, admit and address what can only be defined as a suicidal aberration, our self-preservation is most definitely not guaranteed.