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Sunday, July 02, 2006

Olmert doesn't get it

Caroline Glick explains why Ehud Olmert still doesn't get it:

So does the fact that this week Olmert finally permitted forces to reenter Gaza mean that he now gets it? Does Olmert's decision to arrest Hamas parliamentarians and government ministers in Judea and Samaria in spite of Condi's objections signal that he has accepted that Israel must destroy its enemies' capacity to attack its territory, its forces and its citizens? Does the fact that Olmert ordered IAF jets to overfly Syrian dictator Bashar Assad's palace mean that he understands that the war being fought against Israel is part of the global jihad? Unfortunately, a close look at Olmert's counter-terror measures makes clear that, no, in spite of the wailing of the international press corps, and the whining of the State Department and its European and Russian counterparts, in fact, Olmert still refuses to get it.

Olmert and his associates in the government have pointed their fingers at Hamas blaming it for the Palestinian guerrilla attack on Israeli territory Sunday morning while ignoring Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah terror group's equal share of culpability. It was Fatah, not Hamas that kidnapped and murdered 18-yearold Eliahu Asheri. It is Fatah that is threatening to blow up Israeli embassies abroad. It is Fatah that is threatening to renew shooting attacks on Jerusalem and attack Israel with chemical and biological weapons. It is Fatah that is threatening to kill the IDF hostage Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

While Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin was preparing the list of Hamas leaders IDF forces arrested in Judea and Samaria Wednesday night, Abbas was finalizing his deal with Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh for the formation of a Hamas-Fatah unity government. Abbas and Haniyeh not only agreed to form a unity government, they also agreed that Hamas would become a member of the PLO. Aside from that, they agreed that to establish a unified force for fighting their joint war against Israel. That is, this week, as Israel trained its rifles on Hamas alone, Abbas effectively unified Hamas with Fatah.

Rather than contending with this development, Olmert and his colleagues chose to ignore it. And this makes sense of course. Acknowledging that Fatah and Hamas are equally at war with Israel would mean that Israel has no option of giving away Judea, Samaria and parts of Jerusalem to any of these groups.

Olmert's decision to blame Syria for Sunday's attack on Kerem Shalom is similarly problematic. Yes, it is true that the orders for Hamas's major operations, (like those of Fatah and Islamic Jihad) come from Syria and Teheran. The fact that the government is acknowledging that the war being fought against Israel is not simply a dispute between Palestinians and Israelis about the partition of the western part of the Land of Israel is on the face of it a welcome development. Unfortunately, the government's acknowledgement of the foreign command of the Palestinian war against Israel is being used not as a justification for fighting, but as a justification for not fighting.

Olmert has used Syria's role in ordering attacks against Israel as a way of letting the local terror commanders Abbas and Haniyeh off the hook. Rather than recognize that they are both subordinate to and supportive of Damascus and Teheran's terror war strategy against Israel, Olmert and his associates are using the foreign elements of the war as a way to say that the Palestinians are not responsible even though they are the ones carrying out the operations on the ground.

As to the current IDF operation in Gaza, it is fairly clear that whatever accomplishments the IDF may achieve over the next few days, Olmert will call for a retreat rather than enable those tactical accomplishments to become translated into an enhanced strategic environment for Israel. Olmert, whose primary goal as prime minister is to reenact the failed withdrawal from Gaza twenty-fold in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem cannot enable the Israeli public to see proof on its television screens night after night that the withdrawal was an abysmal failure. The footage that the Israeli public has seen every night since Sunday shows them with absolute clarity that the country was safer when the Israeli communities separating Gaza from Ashkelon and Egypt were still standing and when the IDF was deployed in Gaza protecting southern Israel and keeping the border with Egypt quiet.

Making this point absolutely clear, this week Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz paved the way for new pictures to be seen on the television screens next week. Amidst the military earthquake in the south, the two men repeated their intention to destroy four communities in Judea and Samaria next week. What they refuse to recognize is that while doing so may confuse the public for awhile about whom its real enemy is, the footage from their planned operation will destroy in one fell swoop any accomplishments the IDF may garner this week in Gaza. Pictures of Israeli police and military forces forcibly removing Israelis from their homes will prove to the Palestinians - once again - that their hope to destroy Israel through jihad is well founded.

Read the whole thing.


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