Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Massive calls for Olmert and Peretz to resign in Israel

The Israeli public hit the streets todays in large numbers calling for PM Olmert and defense minister Peretz to resign and not let the door hit them on the way out, and for new elections in the wake on continued scandals and the preliminary report from the Winograd Commission on the Lebanon War.

Olmert, for his part says he has no intention of resigning right now, and is still, incredibly, concentrating on kicking Jews out of their homes, calling for a new `outpost removal plan' in Judea and Samaria.

One of the rats has already jumped off the sinking ship, Labor Secretary-General Eitan Cabel, a minister without portfolio in Olmert's government who resigned, he claimed, after he stayed awake all night reading the Winograd report and decided that Olmert's mismanagement of the Second Lebanon War should disqualify him from continuing to serve as prime minister.

"I cannot sit in a government that Olmert heads anymore," Cabel said. "There have been enough scandals in the short period of the government but the war is above them all. I feel the heartstrings of the public, which has lost its faith in Olmert's leadership."

The rest of the rats may follow shortly, with a special meeting of Olmert's Kadima party expected to call for his resignation and heir apparent Tzipi Livni leading the charge.

Well, better late than never I suppose.

The Jerusalem Post's always sensible Caroline Glick has her usual sound take on the Winograd Commission, as she points out that the Commission's narrow focus ignored what led to the debacle in the first place.

The root causes of Hezbollah's agression, as Glick points out, were Ehud Barak's precipitous withdrawal from South Lebanon, which allowed Hezbollah to create a state within a state in Lebanon, allowing Hezbollah to build up its missile sites and fortresses on the Israeli border without interference and the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza which gave both Hamas and Hezbollah a virtual free hand and emboldened them to attack Israel.

What;s more, the present Israeli government is allowing Hamas and Hezbollah to re-arm and to build up the same deadly infrastructure on Israel's borders all over agains, and is doing absolutely nothing to stop them.

Olmert, Peretz and foreign minister Tzipi Livni were criminally negligent and deserve to be ousted. But even more important is an understanding of what led to the disaster in the first place and putting in an Israeli government that can take the steps to avert another disaster.

The hour grows late.

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