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Sunday, August 20, 2006

The lessons of Lebanon - II

This is excellent, simply a must read. (For the record, I was not as impressed with The lessons of Lebanon - I, but for those who are interested, you can find it here).

My generation has failed our sons. Not because we failed to give them the proper equipment. We failed to provide them and ourselves with proper leadership. At the start of this war I never felt such a lack of confidence in our national and political leadership. At this point in the war - and I suspect it is only half-time - I feel despair.

Last week, the commander-in-chief of the IDF admitted that at the moment Israeli soldiers were chasing after their abducted comrades and engaged in fighting Hizbullah on July 12 - on the eve of the war - he was busy selling his stock portfolio. The police meanwhile charged a senior Kadima Member of Knesset, Tzahi Hanegbi, with bribery and a handful of other crimes. And today, the police announced that they would charge Minister Haim Ramon with sexual abuse.

What shame! Did we receive the leaders we deserve?

ALL OF this has been a long time coming. There was no public outcry when aides to Israeli prime ministers made fortunes in under-the-table kickback deals with Yasser Arafat and his Palestinian cronies. Why, for instance, were the Palestinians paying high prices for cement and gasoline from Israeli companies when they could have gotten the products at a fraction from Arab companies? Why were Israeli officials and their relatives involved in the Palestinian casino?

What Israeli officials profited from the disengagement from Gaza? Is there any truth to the claim by the eccentric Israeli-French billionaire, Shmuel Flatto-Sharon, that the northern Gaza Jewish settlements were demolished to make way for a Palestinian casino with a silent Israeli partner? We dismissed it then as a crank claim, but today, who knows? Palestinian rockets are now fired from those sites.

We were silent when senior IDF officials were allegedly fired and replaced by army friends of Ariel Sharon's sons and cronies. Are we paying the price today in the army's malfeasance, nonfeasance and misfeasance?

Columnists in the Hebrew press are questioning where in the war are the sons of the `branja, Israel's political, media and financial elite. Their sons don't seem to show up in the casualty lists, because, as one columnist charged, their children are overseas, do not serve, or sit at cushy office jobs in the army.

We stood quiet while the civil rights of thousands of Jews from Gaza were trampled by the police. We didn't realize that the government's abandonment of these citizens in 2005 would be a precursor to the neglect of hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens in the bomb shelters of the north in 2006.

How much IDF and government planning, manpower and resources went into the disengagement last year that could have been expended on preparing for the Hizbullah war this summer?

I have always opposed airing Israel's dirty laundry in public, but perhaps it is time to do it. Israel's supporters are pouring out their sympathy and dollars to help rebuild Israel's north. They must make sure the millions of dollars are not going to be funneled through the companies of political cronies and party hacks.

Read it all.


At 1:21 AM, Blogger Scott said...

This author asks, "Did we get the leadership we deserve?"

Yes you sure as hell did. Amona.

At 1:56 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


I agree. Many times I have cited the Talmudic passage that says that each generation gets the leadership it deserves. That's one of the things that scares me about our current situation. While God promised that the Jewish people would never be wiped out, He never said anything about any particular Jewish community. Including the community in Israel. I don't see us behaving in a manner that deserves His grace. And our lousy leadership for the last fourteen years looks to me like His wake-up call to us. We aren't listening.

At 5:25 AM, Blogger Dave in Pa said...

Scott and Carl,

A pro pos of your leadership question, I'm a Christian and a firm friend of Israel but I'm no religious scholar and don't feel qualified to comment intelligently on the spiritual aspects.

However, I recommend you read an excellent column by Ralph Peters, a retired US Army Intel. Colonel, in the New York Post.

Col. Peters is a man of keen intellect, great military and intelligence experience, sharp judgement...and he speaks frankly. No punches pulled!

His latest column is his assessment of the current situation in the Middle East and is entitled "Moment of Truth". The URL for the NY Post is http://www.nypost.com/ I didn't include the column URL because it's a LOONNNG one. Just look under Post Opinion on the home page.

Some excerpts: "IN the wake of Israel's strategic setback in Lebanon, where's the Middle East headed? (Hint: The road sign doesn't read "Age of Aquarius")...

A postmodern terrorist army - Hezbollah's - just achieved the first terrorist defeat of a powerful state on a conventional battlefield. The strategic echoes will embolden extremists throughout the Middle East and beyond...

Israel's recent defeat, for one thing. Yes, you read that right. The truth is that Israel got a relatively cheap, if embarrassing, wake-up call. And Israel's a part of Western civilization, not of the Middle East's decaying cultures. That means that Israel doesn't just wallow in blame - like Americans, Israelis figure out what went wrong and then fix it. After the post-war soul-searching and investigations are finished, failed leaders will be replaced and Israel will re-emerge with a renewed sense of mission, a stronger government and a powerfully reformed military - the next time the IDF goes to war, watch the way it devastates its enemies."

I sure as **** hope so! Like the rest of the West, Israel needs to clean house of liberal politicians and any hack appointees at high level in the military. We can no longer afford their false and destructive values. They are the West's internal weakness and Achilles heel.

We saw how Clinton & Co. played at war and national security in the 90's. Now, we seem to be seeing a Clintonesque Olmert & Co. echoing the same wilful stupidity.

A golden opportunity for Israel, the US and the West as a whole was just lost by Olmert & Co. I fervently hope that Israel goes through the soul-searching and house-cleaning Col. Peters advises and expects.

Israel and America have some major battles ahead...soon. We cannot afford to lose them.


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