Monday, July 31, 2006

Olmert to Rice: Buzz Off

Israel PM Ehud Olmert today took the risk of alienating Secretary of State Rice by telling the Israeli people and the world there is no cease-fire, partial or otherwise, in Lebanon and there will be no cease-fire, until Israel achieves its aim of significantly degrading Hizbullah’s armament and crippling it as an organization. Trying his best imitation of Churchill, he warned this would take weeks and it would cost Israel more pain, tears and blood. This message came a day after Rice had wrung from Israeli leaders an agreement to suspend bombing in southern Lebanon for two days and also said the UN Security Council was likely order a cease-fire by the end of the week.

In dissing Rice, Olmert counts on support from his friends in the White House, who are no fans of Rice’s efforts to have foreign policies, rather than spin international adventures, and, of course, from the Middle-East ignorant Bush himself. They all just lap up memes like Defense Minister Amir Peretz’s “Israel’s fight with Hizbullah is the frontline of the war with Iran.” Whether he wants to align himself so tightly with them is another matter. Olmert himself appears less unilateralist, extreeme and pretentious than they, but regardless of preferences, he has to press defiantly on. He is fighting for his political life. The wide scale operations to which he so hastily committed Israel have not yet realized their promised results.

They eventually will, he asserts. This is to reassure the Israelis in the north that the rockets will one day stop falling on them and to reassure the world that on the same day Israel will stop killing Lebanese civilians who are in the way. Meanwhile, no one should try to teach Israel morals. After all, we invented them.


Anonymous Dov said...

Certainly you make some brilliant points, Atik, about the long shadow the holocaust casts on modern Jewry. It's impossible to overestimate the effect of the shoah, psychologically, philosophically, idealogically, materially, politically, demographically, culturally... No doubt the world would be better led if our politicians were to undergo psychoanalysis prior to election; tperhaps they could lead with more insight and premeditation were they more conscious of their unconscious motives. HOWEVER, in this post you do not acknowledge the degree to which Israel is needed in TODAY's world. Antisemitism did not end with Hitler. Jew-hating is nearly always under the surface, ready to rear its ugly teeth. The holocaust taught us just how devestating the effects of antisemitism could be, and it's this very real and basic lesson--as well as the more sophisticated ones you tease out--that is at stake today.

6:44 AM  

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