Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Israel post-war inquiries are beginning to play like farce or ironic tragedy, depending on one's critical predilections. Today, Tsahi Hanegbi opened a session of the Knesset's Security and Foreign Policy Committee with a complaint regarding the bad publicity that Chief of Staff Halutz received in the past day: I have the feeling that we are developing a culture of rushing to judgement, like that of the executioners in the French Revolution. That is not our culture. Mr. Hanegbi is an expert on Israeli political culture. He is about to be indicted for illegal political appointments he made while Minister of the Environment in 2001 - 2003. The charges will include fraud and breach of trust, but Negbi has refused to resign his chairmanship of the Security and Foreign Policy Committee. He is the son of Geulah Ha-cohen, the Passionara of Menahem Begin's fascoid Herut party of the 1950s and 1960s. He began his own political career 35 years ago, at the Hebrew University, by organizing rock-throwing demonstrations against Arab students.

The committee session exposed further rifts between the army and government leaders. Senior officers told the committee members that the deployment of the expanded UNIFIL force will take a long time and that Israel troops must remain in Lebanon for months. In contrast, Foreign Minister Tsippi Livni said yesterday that Israel should withdraw its troops as quickly as possible in compliance with the cease-fire resolution.


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