Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Olmert Said What?!

Which of the following has Olmert said:

a. "There is an honest, real will on my part to give a lot and receive little in return."
b. If "the terrorist organizations impose a violent confrontation, both Israelis and the Palestinians will have to bear the consequences.".
c. That Israel's success in Lebanon will create "new momentum" for the Convergence Plan
d. All of the above

Yes, that was easy--wasn't it!

Olmert's latest is reported byArutz Sheva:

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told The Associated Press today that he feels Israel's success in Lebanon will create "new momentum" for his plan to unilaterally withdraw from most of Judea and Samaria.

Contrary to many Israeli analysts, who feel that the unilateral retreat from both Lebanon and Gaza strengthened the terrorists' resolve to fight Israel, Olmert appears to believe that he has now proven that Israel can fight off any attack that emanates from territory abandoned by Israel.
Naturally, Olmert's statment to AP has created something of an uproar.

It's not as if this is the first time since the Hamas kidnapping that Olmert has openly expressed the idea that his Convergence will still move forward, regardless of the current situation--but Olmert's persistence in expressing that view is increasingly disconcerting. Like an amateur salesman who nervously gives the same identical pitch to an unconvinced custom unable to take 'no' for an answer, Olmert is unable to stop talking about--let alone give up on--the idea of evacuating Jews out of the West Bank.

But even taken on its face, Olmert's statement--made during a time that Israel is dealing with the effects of the blanket withdrawal from both southern Lebanon and Gaza--seems to make no sense:

1. Even if the IDF is hugely successful both in Gaza, the fact remains that it took a year of Kassam rockets before real action was taken--and even then, it was the kidnapping of an IDF soldier that initiated a response. Even then, the initial operation was to get Shalit back. Only later did the operation in northern Gaza, where the Kassams are being fired from, begin.

Likewise, the war in Lebanon was ignited by the kidnapping of IDF soldiers. Since Hizbollah is likely to live to terrorize another day, the lesson they will have learned will merely be to re-evaluate their tactics and timing--not to cease attacks.

2. Even from his Olmert's perspective, by tying the future of his Convergence Plan with war with Hizbollah, anything less than a clear and demonstrative victory will not only not help his case for evacuation, but weaken it even further--assuming logic and reason have any role at all in this government. And at this point it is hard to imagine a realistic scenario where Hizbollah cannot claim some sort of victory, even if only by virtue of surviving.

The remaining question is: why is Olmert so desperate to push his Convergence Plan, even at the risk of reassuring the very enemies Israel is in the middle of a war with?

It's odd, and very troubling.

Muqata has thoughts on Olmert's statement...and Tisha B'Av

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