Published by The Freeman Center

The Maccabean Online

Political Analysis and Commentary
on Israeli and Jewish Affairs

"For Zion's sake I shall not hold my peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I shall not rest."

by Emanuel A. Winston

Middle East Analyst & Commentator

There is a certain grim attitude that hangs over the nation of Israel due to many factors. The leading indicator is that there is no leadership which elevates pride in the nation.

Ehud Olmert may be Prime Minister but, unlike Ariel Sharon, he is well-recognized as a man of few ethics and definitely not a role model for the younger, middle aged or elderly Israeli people. Olmert is merely looked upon as one who must be dealt with as if Israel’s life-and-death issues were being decided upon in an Arab ‘shuk’ (market).
One bargains with Olmert to get a financial reward or possibly a position in government. The Jewish nation doesn’t look to him as if he is a man capable of facing the closing circle of Arabs with courage, skill and a modicum of cleverness. We have already seen him treat the problem of security by appointing a Labor Party hack, Amir Peretz, as Defense Minister. Peretz has zero experience in fighting wars except as a union organizer who would take the nation out on strike when the country was suffering in critical points of time. Amir Peretz is NOT a Defense Minister who the military will look to for guidance.
The Knesset (Parliament) similarly has such problems, pretending that their mere presence is offering guidance to the Nation. While there are always a few people of quality who are actually competent, most Knesset members spend their time gossiping in the Knesset dining room or on personal projects. The Knesset members stay closed and comfortable in their own private affairs. They very rarely go out into the field to visit trouble spots lest someone ask them to actually do something constructive. They hardly ever pay a condolence visit to bring the country’s support to a bereaved family. In brief, they are a useless lot but, a perfect companion to a useless government.

Worse yet, they agreed to the Sharon/Olmert Expulsion-Exile from Gush Katif/Gaza with no preparation or followup to assist the 10,000 Jewish men, women and children torn away from their homes, jobs, farms, schools, synagogues and even cemeteries. Where are the members of Knesset now that these 10,000 good, hard-working Jews are without income, jobs or homes? Where else but in the Knesset dining room, feeding and discussing avoidance of responsibility?

Even worse to come is Olmert’s threatened "Convergence" - Exile, to take at least another 60,000 to 250,000 Jewish men, women and children from their homes. The Knesset is primed with just those members who are likely to vote for this crime against our humanity.

Mostly the Knesset members strive for media interviews, hoping their words of ‘wisdom’ will make it into one of the Hebrew Leftist papers. Such dedicated public servants and problem solvers such as Uzi Landau, are no longer there simply because the Likud Party under Netanyahu and Silvan Shalom lost in the elections.

Clearly, the people are disheartened and drifted over to the vague promises of a new party, Kadima, floating on the memory of Arik Sharon when he was a great warrior before he gave up vital parts of the country which he had helped to build.

Olmert claimed that the recent Knesset election vote was a mandate when it wasn’t because he (his Kadima Party) received so few seats. Olmert also claimed this thin vote was a referendum on his policies when he virtually offered no definitive policies prior to his election.

The Sharon-Olmert flight from Gaza has turned into a growing nightmare as improved Kassam Rockets and Katyusha Missiles like the Russian Grad Missiles are being launched with impunity into Israeli cities, towns and villages. The deadly missiles are aimed at the country’s vital electric power station and fuel tank farm in Ashkelon. I suspect that only when one of those tanks are hit and a poison cloud drifts North over Tel Aviv will the nation reach a sufficient level of shock to eject what may be the most incompetent government Israel has ever had.

Regrettably, the Jews of Israel have grown so accustomed to being hit by Terrorists - roadside bombing, suicide/homicide bombing, sniper shooting ambushes, thousands of Kassam Rockets, Katyusha Missiles - that when fewer than 10 Jews are killed, it makes little impression. I suspect that only when there are, G-d forbid, 50 or 100 deaths will there be an adrenalin rush and the government’s long sleep will be ended.
Who might be qualified to come to the rescue now that Arik Sharon is no longer able to act the great general. There has been talk of Gen. (Ret.) Moshe (Boogi) Allon, former Chief of Staff rising to this challenge. Although he known as a political Leftist, he never let that interfere with his capability of running the military.

There is also credible talk of President Moshe Katzav as a possible candidate to lead and revive the Likud Party. He would replace both Bibi Netanyahu and Silvan Shalom if they would step aside with some grace (not likely). President Katzav has shown himself to be an ethical President and is generally liked by the people and respected by influentials abroad.

Israel desperately needs a radical clean-up and clean-out of her entire political system. This may not happen until there is a saturation missile attack, demonstrating that the Government from the PM through the Knesset and the politically-driven top officer corps in the Army and Police are all simply incapable of governing the nation - let alone protecting her.

If the future of Israel is dependent upon PM Olmert, the Kadimites, the radical Left-leaning Supreme Court of Aharon Barak, a Police Department turned rogue and extremely political and a sluggish Knesset there will be no future. The valiant IDF (Israel Defense Forces) are chasing after Arab Muslim Terrorists while ordered to remove good patriotic Jews from their homes and thus have been prevented from training vigorously and arming prodigiously to face the accumulating Arab Muslim coalitions and defiantly putting the Terrorists down - then there might be a future for the Jewish State of Israel.

Of course, there is always the remote possibility that the people will recognize their peril in time and rise up to throw the rascals out.

Emanuel A. Winston is a member of the Advisory Board and a research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies.