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Friday, May 23, 2008

Caroline Glick on why Olmert is still in power

Caroline Glick has a great column Friday that's all about what a great week Syria just had. I'm going to skip over nearly all of that and tell you to read it yourselves, but since that's supposed to be the main part of the article, I should mention one small part of it:
As Syria's ecstatic reaction to Israel's announcement demonstrated, the Saguy-Shahak-Barak-Ashkenazi crowd is completely wrong and Dagan is completely right. By negotiating with Syria while it is firmly entrenched in the Iranian axis, Israel has not moderated the regime. It has legitimized Syria's presence in the Iranian axis.

That is, the Olmert-Livni-Barak government's embrace of Syria as a credible negotiating partner and Olmert's statement Wednesday evening that he supports giving Syria the Golan Heights - even as the Assad regime hosts Hamas and a dozen other genocidal jihadist groups; as Syria acts as Hizbullah's partner and logistical base and the main entry point for jihadists into Iraq; and with Damascus having effectively rendered itself Iran's Arab colony - mean that Israel has legitimized Syria's behavior. Now that Syria has received Israel's stamp of approval, the other Arabs and the US have no excuse for continuing to oppose it.
Now we know which 'very senior security officials' David Horovitz had in mind when he said that at least some in the IDF favor negotiations with Syria. But I get asked almost daily why Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert is still in power, and Glick tackled that question Friday as well.
IN ISRAEL, news of Olmert's embrace of Syria was greeted with derision by the public. According to a Channel 2 poll conducted after Olmert's office announced its negotiations with Syria, 70 percent of Israelis oppose surrendering the Golan to Syria in exchange for peace. Fifty-eight percent of Israelis believe that Olmert is only conducting negotiations to divert the public's attention away from the latest corruption probe being carried out against him.

It is deeply frustrating that Olmert, who led Israel to defeat in war in 2006 at the hands of Hizbullah; who has allowed southern Israel to become a free fire zone for Hamas; who is under five separate criminal investigations for financial corruption and influence peddling; and who is conducting talks with the powerless Fatah terror group toward the surrender of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem to Hamas, now is pushing an Israeli surrender of the Golan Heights to Syria. And all the more depressing is the fact that he is getting away with it.

Many supporters of Israel cannot understand how it is that Olmert and his colleagues - principally Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni - have managed to stay in power. Throughout their two-year tenure in office, Olmert and his colleagues have displayed nothing but incompetence bordering on idiocy in their conduct of Israel's foreign affairs. They have caused enormous damage to Israel's strategic ties with the US by refusing to contend with Iran's Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian clients and proxies or with Iran itself. Why, these supporters of Israel ask, is the Olmert-Livni-Barak government still in power?

The Olmert-Livni-Barak government has three main assets that make it all but impossible to topple and set a date for new general elections. The first asset is Olmert's complete and utter lack of shame, coupled with his unbridled opportunism. Olmert is a man who will stop at nothing to remain in power. He will lose the war with Hizbullah and refrain from defending southern Israel. He will imperil the North by facilitating Hizbullah's takeover of Lebanon and its rearmament. He will imperil Jerusalem and the center of the country by negotiating the surrender of Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. He will do all of this and more if that is what it takes to stay in power. And by his estimation that is what needs to be done because to stay in power he needs to maintain the support of the post-Zionists who control the media, the Labor Party and the State Prosecution. All these make up the government's second asset.

Former prime minister Ariel Sharon exposed and exacerbated the underlying corruption of Israel's political classes by doctrinaire leftists who control the media and the State Prosecution when in late 2003 he responded to the corruption probe being carried out against him and his sons by announcing that he would expel all Israelis from Gaza and hand the area over to the Palestinians. For his efforts on behalf of the radical Left, Sharon received a "Get Out of Jail Free" card and was hailed as a visionary leader.

Already on Sunday - after Ramon announced the government's negotiations with Hamas - Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz said the current probe into suspicions that Olmert received hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from American businessman Morris Talansky will take months to conclude. The implication was clear: Olmert is free to go ahead with all negotiations toward land giveaways. [And if he gives away enough, he might get a 'get out of jail free' card too. CiJ]

The fact that Olmert's announcement of his talks with Syria was synchronized with the release of new details of his alleged criminal activities made a lot of reporters snort. The opportunism was too blatant to ignore. And yet, the heavyweights at Haaretz and their water-carriers at state television didn't bat a lash as they launched into impassioned defenses of Olmert. Ignoring the general glee in Damascus, Channel 1's diplomatic reporter and Olmert cheerleader Ayala Hasson said the announcement couldn't be "spin" since Syria released its announcement of the talks the same time Olmert's office did. And of course, Hasson explained sagely, Syria wouldn't want to do Olmert any favors.

Labor ministers such as Peace Now cofounder Education Minister Yuli Tamir said that obviously Labor will be compelled to stay in the government now because the "peace process" must not be sacrificed for anything - even if it means that a crook remains in charge.

The Olmert-Livni-Barak government's final asset is the fact that the Right was decimated in the 2006 elections. Without Shas and some breakaways from Kadima, there is simply no way to bring down the government. The votes aren't there. And Shas isn't going anywhere. Olmert made sure of that by approving 286 building permits for new homes for Shas voters in Beitar Illit on Wednesday afternoon.
Depressing, isn't it? Morris Talansky may be our last hope for bringing down Olmert.


At 7:02 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

No - its not in Talansky's hands. Its in the hands of the Israeli Left.

At 5:09 PM, Blogger aka said...

What was that guy's name a few years ago? Kennedy? Lincoln?


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