Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Olmert ... Wake Up

My first stint in miluim (reserve duty) was the week the Lebanon War started. It was during one of the breaks we had from the urban warfare drills that we gathered around one of the Army trucks to hear Ehud Olmert’s passionate speech to the Knesset. I have never been so moved by a speech before in my life. Olmert’s words were moving, powerful and struck a chord with all of the soldiers huddled around the one radio. We all wanted in, we all wanted to be a part of this war – to return our boys home. Some of the lines which still stick out to me today are:

On the Palestinian front, we will conduct a relentless battle until terror ceases, Gilad Shalit is returned home safely and the shooting of Qassam missiles stops.

We will search every compound, target every terrorist who assists in attacking the citizens of Israel , and destroy every terrorist infrastructure, everywhere. We will persist until Hizballah and Hamas comply with those basic and decent things required of them by every civilized person. Israel will not agree to live in the shadow of missiles or rockets aimed at its residents.

It is a difficult battle! It may become even more difficult. It is a painful test, and we may have to bear more suffering. Such a battle is never easy. It is strewn with pain and suffering, sacrifice, and casualties.

We will do everything and make every effort to bring them home.

We will defend all of them, on behalf of all of them we will fight, and with all of them before our eyes – the civilians in the line of fire, the kidnapped fighters and their families – we will continue, without hesitating, without capitulating and without fear, until our goals are achieved.

Reading today’s Haaretz headlines, I realized yet again how we had been duped. Our ‘leader’, if you can call him that, had yet again proven his fine ability to talk but his failure to act accordingly to his words. Nope, I’m not talking about Olmert’s government's botched handling of the war, I’m talking about the fact that our leader is a slimy, cowardly politician who doesn’t back up his tough words and decrees with actions. Today, Olmert remarked:

What should we have done? Keep fighting and maybe create dozens more bereaved families to accelerate the return of two people, and I hope they are still alive, for whom it's a question of spending a little more or a little less time in captivity in the face of the possibility or certainty that many dozens more would be killed in the continued fighting?

What should we have done? What kind of statement is that? You ‘declared’ war on Hezbollah and Hamas. Did we stop after the first few days in 1973? Did we stop when our citizens were kidnapped before the rescue missions of Sabena and Entebbe ? Perhaps Olmert wasn’t really interested in a war, but in using the army and the situation as pawns in an attempt to validate himself as a leader. Let’s face it, a leader who was “a little disappointed by the continuation of Kassam rocket fire at the South by the Palestinians,” is obviously living in La La land. Wake up Ehud. You made promises about getting our boys back, about stopping rocket fire about ‘achieving goals’ and you’ve done nothing. You’ve failed – do the right thing, step down and allow the country to regain faith in her government.

If only Olmert was actually that man that July speech made him out to be ...

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