Thursday, August 03, 2006

Olmert apologizes for his ridiculous remarks

Ehud Olmert now has a new tune to sing - the War has nothing to do with `realignment'.

After outraging Israeli opinion in a moment of hubris Olmert was forced to retract the nonsense he was peddling yesterday.

The first things his aides did was search frantically for this man. MK Effie Eitam

Eitam, a former General and an authentic Israeli hero who was the former commander of the IDF in South Lebanon is the leader of the National Union-National Religious Party and someone who commands respect even from those who disagree with him.

To give you an idea of his character, Eitam, during the forcible uprooting of his fellow Jews from their homes in Gaza defied the Israeli government and brought his wife and children into Gush Katif to stay with his fellow countrymen, ease their sorrow and share their burdens when they lost their homes.

Once Olmert's aides found him, a quick meeting was arranged with the chastened Israeli PM.

"The fighting in Lebanon has nothing to do with future diplomatic moves in other arenas," Olmert reportedly told Eitam.

MK Eitam later told the Israeli paper Yediot: "He understood that he made a mistake. He realized that he truly harmed the national unity."

Damn straight he did.

Eitam was taking part in the reading of the Book of Lamentations, on the eve of Tisha B'Av, while officials at the Prime Minister's Office were looking for him. Olmert clarified in his conversation with Eitam that "in these days, when the people of Israel remember the (Temple) destruction, we must maintain full unity in the military and home front in order to succeed in the difficult war."

Olmert's office issued a statement saying that "the prime minister spoke to MK Effie Eitam following the remarks related to him in the foreign news agencies. He made it clear to MK Eitam, who expressed his protest in the name of broad right-wing groups, that he (the prime minister) was only engaged in running Israel's battle in the north and south....The prime minister sought to stress that he did not come to bolster the support for the realignment. He made it clear that these were not the issues that should have emerged from this interview."

MK Eitam said that he had been receiving worrying messages from the field all day.

"From the moment the prime minister's remarks were published, I was approached by dozens of rabbis, heads of preparatory programs and reserve soldiers, who told me in an unequivocal manner that they are considering not to head north and join the war. I explained to the prime minister that his actions may cause real damage to the war efforts," he said.

"From the conversation I had with the prime minister I understand in an unequivocal manner that he will not deal with the realignment plan at all now. He made a big mistake and I helped him understand its ramifications. His clarification does not remove many fears for the future, but we will conduct the arguments only after the war," Eitam said.

Eitem made the correct and self effacing decision to allow Olmert to use the prestige of a far better, more courageous man to ease out of a quaqmire of his own making, for the sake of unity during wartime.

I hope the people of Israel remember that when it comes time to choose new leadership.

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