Sunday, February 03, 2008

Barak And Labor Prolong Olmert's Folly

Israeli PM Ehud Olmert got another assist in clinging to power as Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced today that he was going stay on and keep his Labor party in the Olmert government coalition.

By doing this, he repudiated his past pledge to leave the government and bring Israel to early elections if the Winograd Report on the Lebanon War was to negative on Olmert and his government regarding their conduct during the war...which of course it was.The world “failure” only appears in the report 190 times and the word “flaws” appears in it only 213 times!

The real reason behind Barak's decision is pretty easy to see - he and Labor have abysmal poll ratings and
would fare dismally if Barak and Labor brought down the government and forced new elections.

It's all about political survival at any cost, and the will of the Israeli people be damned.

Even worse is that Olmert is presenting this to the media as an `exoneration' simply because the Winogard Report did not directly call for his resignation and did not directly state that his serious errors in judgment
came from criminal motives. It merely said that his judgments came from incompetency, lack of leadership and poor planning and decision making.

In fact, if one looks at how the Olmert government has been handling Gaza, it's practically Lebanon all over again, with the same lack of planning, the same inability to distinguish fact from fiction, the same kinds of half measures and lack of concerted policies, the same poor decisions and failed solutions.

Barak's decision was greeted with anger throughout Israel and throughout the full spectrum of the Israeli Right and Left, as Carl In Jerusalem relates .

It remains to be seen if this disgraceful conduct is going to be swallowed by the electorate. As the Winograd Report itself stated, it is up to the people of Israel to act on this, and I'll be interested to see what develops.


Aryeh said...

If you look at it as mere political survival, that is - political survival for the sake of political survival - you're missing the point.

Those who are trying to make Olmert fall, are not only interested in survival (at times their own survival is dubious), but in changing policy.

Political survival never exists on its own. It's means for something else.

The electorate will punish Olmert, as you predict, not because it is wiser now, but because it is deluded to believe it is wiser. Keep in mind that punishing has been one of the main reasons for voting in the past four or five election courses in Israel, and you will realize it soon enough.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hello, Areyeh.
In Olmert's case, I think it's not just political survival as much as it is staying out of jail!

There may also be some serious money in it for him.As you know, the anti-israel EU funds groups like Shalom Akshav ( Peace Now), Yossi Beilan's party and a host of other dissident leftist groups to the tune of millions of Euros.

Olmert may very well have a similar payout waiting for him if he delivers, and he obviously could give a damn about Israel.

In the US, this kind of thing is normally forbidden by law,although it still happens to some degree
( the Clintons China connection through Loral and CAIR are two examples).

And as far as Ehud Barak goes,let's remember that he only became PM because of massive interferance in the Israeli elections by Bill Clinton, who wanted someone who would bend over for Arafat and give Clinton a different legacy other than some stains on a blue dress and impeachment for perjury and obstruction of justice.

As for changing policy,of COURSE that's the rationale. Could any normal person see part of his country under siege an dhis citizans being blown up without wanting to do something drastic to change things?