Olmert government presides over yet another military defeat

Ze’ev Schiff, respected military correspondent for Ha’aretz, writes:

Israel is experiencing something in Sderot that it has not experienced since the War of Independence, if ever: The enemy has silenced an entire city and brought normal life there to a halt. The despair of Sderot’s mayor is one sign of what is happening. The sight of the town’s elderly residents returning from a “rest and relaxation” trip and refusing to alight from the bus and go home is additional proof that what is happening in Sderot is a national disgrace.

Schiff adds that the defeat in Sderot is “a serious national failure, which in my opinion is worse than the failure of the Second Lebanon War”.

Unlike the US, Israel’s parliamentary system allows for a simple majority vote of the Knesset to force the government to resign and bring about early elections. How can the government which lost both the Lebanon War and the battle of Sderot, whose Prime Minister had an approval rating of 3% among the public, and which is now talking about beginning negotiations to return the Golan to Syria while Syria prepares for war — how can this government remain in power?

The explanation is two-fold. First, new elections would result in many current Knesset members being removed, and they would prefer to keep their seats. Second, apparently not enough members are convinced that there is a better alternative.

The problem is that the government has lost its ability to lead the people, any respect that it may have had in the international arena, and its power of deterrence over Israel’s enemies. It’s time for democracy to do its work, and the political chips must fall where they may.

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2 Responses to “Olmert government presides over yet another military defeat”

  1. Jared Smiley says:

    Thank you for telling the truth about Isreal. We get a lot of propaganda from the Zionist controlled press about the strong brave Isrealis who know what they are doing, but from your article people can see the truth. America is investing in another Iraq there.
    You wrote:
    “The problem is that the government has lost its ability to lead the people, any respect that it may have had in the international arena, and its power of deterrence over Israel’s enemies.”

    I know about that sort of government as I was in Vietnam. It was a losing proposition to try to help those people then, and this seems to be the same thing all over again. We Amercans can only do so much. We give those Isrealis a lot of aid money, but it seems to be wasted. What is the point of giving all that money, and getting all the Arabs angry at us, to protect a few million Jews who don’t know how to take care of themselves?

    The penny ante guerrillas make all those yellow people run away with their primitive rockets and the Isreal government hasn’t a clue what to do. Like you wrote in that article about Fatah (another bunch of losers) – motivation is important.

    Maybe the best thing is to pack up all those Jews in Isreal and send them to someplace safe.

    The idea of Zionism I thought was to make a safe place for Jews where they could defend themselves, but that doesn’t seem to be working out according to what you write.



  2. Vic Rosenthal says:

    The analogy to Vietnam and Iraq does apply to US efforts to prop up the corrupt, terrorist Fatah movement. It does not apply to Israel, which is a parliamentary democracy in which a poorly performing government can be removed.

    After the failure in Lebanon last summer, the IDF has learned many lessons, and my IDF contacts report that the new Chief of Staff has been effective in reestablishing discipline in areas where it had become lax. The previous defense minister, who was not competent in military matters has been replaced by Ehud Barak, who — regardless of what you may think of his performance when he was PM — is a former Chief of Staff and Defense Minister who knows his job.

    I’m confident that a solution can be found to the Sderot problem, too. But I think that the Olmert government needs to be replaced, democratically and quickly.