Let’s see:

Olmert, Peretz and Halutz have still not resigned.

There are two gazillion internal investigations inside the IDF, attempting to figure out what went right and what went wrong. There are no investigations of the IDF by unaffiliated third parties.

There are two ongoing investigations of the functioning of the Israeli government during the Lebanon War, but neither one has the stature required to truly investigate. In fact, it appears the PM’s office has been resisting, with some ease, providing documents demanded by the investigating comptroller.

In the meantime, the IDF is paralyzed. The army seems incapable of truly learning from its mistakes and rebuilding for the next war. If the same folks who screwed up Lebanon remain in power, as is the case right now, what hope for improvement is there? It was ass-kissing and politics that brought this regime of generals into the top slots, and as we’ve seen this is not a formula for producing quality or even acceptable outcomes in war.

What is worse is that Olmert and Peretz are also paralyzed. Afraid to make any moves that would further erode their authority and standing, they have chosen to do as little as possible. There is no longer any form of master plan and everything they do seems half-baked in conception and half-assed in execution.

Thus, they’ve given us an idiotic cease-fire with the Palestinians the implementation of which has Israel removing its military from Gaza, stopping attacks in Gaza, and watching quietly as over 60 Qassems have fallen on Sderot, Ashkelon and the Western Negev. 60 Qassems would have been approximately the number of Qassems dropped into Israel before its incursion into Beit Hanoun. Yesterday two teenage boys were hit by a Qassem in Sderot and severely hurt. For a few hours, Peretz and Olmert began to make grunting noises, but once news came out that the boy in critical condition was stable, their reaction was to order “pinpoint attacks on Qassem crews.” Between sniggers, Islamic Jihad informed reporters that if Israel would dare to attack any Palestinian, she should expect serious consequences.

Did that strike you as funny? It struck me as funny.

It was doubly funny today after Olmert and Peretz approved Egyptian distribution to Abbas’s men of thousands of rifles and a ton of ammunition purportedly to give him an upper hand in the fight against Hamas. That’s right, as the Qassems continue to fall despite years that Abbas has done nothing to try to stop them, the Israeli government and the Egyptian government were conspiring to provide more weapons and ammo to the Palestinian leadership.

Wait, that’s not all. Abbas also got to have a nice chat with Olmert where they discussed god knows what, but reported to the media that Israel was going to release $100 million to Abbas and would release prisoners potentially without Gilad Shalit being freed. That’s correct, the logic of helping the more “moderate” Abbas over the “extremist” Hamas has driven Olmert and company to return to providing the Palestinians with a quiet IDF, large sums of money, weapons and even prisoners. Oh, did I mention that they plan to close a couple of dozen key road blocks? In exchange, the Israelis get to scour the skies for falling Qassems and praising God every time one lands without killing somebody because then they’d have to take “real” steps.

At least there would be two benefits to this plan. The first is the positive press around the world which presumably will buy Israel some diplomatic gains. The second is a please US Administration. Heck, to even further please the US Administration, Olmert has refused to engage Assad Jr. in any peace talks despite Syria’s desperate pleas for Israel to come to the table. So we get a happy world and a happy Administration, right?

Nope, you see, the brilliant folks running the Israeli government have permitted the construction of a settlement – the media claims it’s “new” while Israel claims it’s simply a reconditioned army facility being re-positioned as a civilian home. Who is going to live there, in Northern Samaria, in an area that Kadima had expected to be returning to the Palestinians in a little while? A group of families who were evacuated from Gush Katif and who resisted more strongly than some other groups. Are they insane for resettling there instead of, say, the Western Negev where they could be used? Not at all, there are no Qassems landing in N. Samaria.

But the news coming out, thanks to the IDF and the Defense Ministry (which suggests Peretz might be sticking it to Olmert) about this settlement, has now undermined all the benefits of the concessions made by Olmert to Abbas. Suddenly the world is talking about settlements again, the media is spinning this in a negative light and…the US Administration is pissed off and “investigating.”

I could go on and on, but what’s the point? This is simply depressing. There is no leadership of any form here, just as there is no plan. This is simply about smart people covering their own asses and holding on to their positions as long as they can, regardless of how often or badly they screw up. The average Israeli has become so inured to this situation that they do not stand up and demand proper investigation and proper resignations. They do not stand up and demand better government and better leadership because they are too busy simply surviving. Families have to be fed, work has to be found, the army needs to be served, and their respective community needs their support to a greater degree than the state does.

Over 20% of Sderot’s residents have left according to some news reports. They’ve left to live in other places and aren’t returning. This is incredibly sad. It also validates what the Gush Katif residents and their supporters had said which was that once they leave, the battleground will become the next group of nearby Israeli communities – those inside the Green Line. That is indeed what has happened and instead of having the government pump huge monetary, defensive and manpower resources to strengthen Sderot and TAKE A STAND, the Israeli leadership is doing the opposite. Sderot is nothing more than a leaf blowing in a strong wind, a short while before blowing off the tree.

The Palestinians in Gaza are preparing for war and Israel is doing everything it can to facilitate their preparations. David Grossman doesn’t have another son to lose because of poor leadership and nobody else can afford to lose their son. Would somebody over there please wake up!!

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  • that is all very true. And yet check out this year’s casualty ratio.(Haaretz has an article with Btselem numbers) Just like the good old days.And dont think that it doesnt count .I remember of the Palis being very proud of those 2.7-1 numbers. This year its more like 30-1.

  • Alex, as you probably know, I strongly support(ed) the pullout from Gaza. I am convinced that the reason for the lower ratio is the result of being able to close off Gaza, not have Israeli civilian or military targets in there, and go in on our timetable. The problem is that right now, it’s clear the IDF needs to be in there and instead we’re enabling the Palestinians to put together the arms, infrastructure and planning necessary for an eventual war.

  • Youre oh so right lunacy. but what is there to do.
    I passively supported gaza withdrawal, since i was willing to asume that arik sharon knew better than me what was best for the security of Israel. unfortunately, one could have said the same of Peres, Beilin Sarid & company during the Oslo secular messianist era which featured delusion, wishful thinking and criminal negligence. they knew best what was for Israel too, right?

  • I don’t know, Uzi, because I don’t think we’ll ever really know what could have been. I believe that many of us were stunned in 2000 when the Palestinians didn’t even negotiate with Barak. However, we have to ask what could have been had Netanyahu not been elected so that Oslo was put into hibernation, and what would have been had Israel entirely stopped constructing new settlements. Would Oslo then have had a better chance of succeeding? Possibly. The basic idea, however, that of separating them from Israel remains true and important today.

  • Thanks for the post. I’m new to this blogging thing. Anyway, I’m growing intolerant of faith (as oppoed to reason) in my old age…I’m working on various other pieces I hope would interest thinking, rational Jews and even goyim.
    As for ‘the matzav’, as it is called in Israel: At the time the Oslo accords were signed Yossi Beilin said that one wondeful feature was that if there was but one or two infraction(s) on the Arab side, the agreements and withdrawals would be frozen. Alas, in his (and Peres’) naivete (and maybe even cynism, but I’ll assume the best of intentions) Beilin didnt realize that agreements have a momentum all their own, and once set in motion, hard to stop. after all he (and Peres) staked his (their) career on Oslo working. And there were plenty of attacks on and murders of Jews before Rabin’s murder. And the triple bus suicide attacks in Tel Aviv occurred under Peres, among other attacks. Thats why Peres lost the election. Numerous attacks happened before Netanyahu came to power. In fact, if you remember, all he demanded of the palestinian arabs was (gasp) reciprocity. And yet he was the one who gave them Hebron with nothing in return.