Sunday, September 21, 2008

Olmert Resigns

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's resignation as Israel's prime minister ends a sad chapter in Israel's history. It was long overdue, and the election of Tzipi Livni will not begin to solve Israel's problems with protecting itself against terrorist attack and negotiating away its safety and security through concessions with terrorists who provide nothing in return.

Olmert's disastrous handling of the Palestinian rocket war, followed closely by the Hizbullah war in Lebanon meant that Israel lost a tactical and strategic edge over terrorist groups who are no less dedicated to Israel's destruction today than they were before Olmert became Prime Minister. In fact, these terrorist groups, including Hizbullah and Hamas are stronger now than they've been because the terrorists see that Israel's weak leadership will condone prisoner swaps for the return of dead Israelis, that Israel will look the other way as rockets fall on Sderot and other Israeli cities and towns, and that Israel will be cast as the aggressor by the international media that looks the other way when the terrorists instigate incidents. Hamas continues to rearm, despite the so-called ceasefire (hudna). And it's not much of a ceasefire given that the terrorists continue to fire rockets and mortars at Israel.

Livni is no panacea for Israel's woes. She's just as incompetent as Olmert, and lacks experience to deal with these matters. I hope I'm wrong about that, but her first inclinations while serving in the Olmert government were to engage in the same kinds of appeasement and concessions that Olmert engaged in. Protecting all of Israel's territory seems secondary to the idea that a peace deal can be reached for a peace deal's sake.

The government will continue as a unity government until new elections are held. Meanwhile, two possible players for prime minister, Ehud Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu met to discuss the situation.
"In light of the political, security and economic challenges, the correct move for the people of Israel is [the formation of] a very broad national emergency government. What interests me is what is good for Israel," Barak said at a Labor faction gathering prior to the weekly cabinet meeting.

Barak, who, aides said, may prefer to form a national emergency government with the Likud, met Netanyahu Saturday night at the Defense Ministry and the opposition leader urged Barak to help initiate a new general election rather than join Tzipi Livni's government. Barak, who is scheduled to meet separately with Livni on Sunday, will also hold talks with Shas chairman Eli Yishai.

Earlier Sunday, Barak met President Shimon Peres and the two were said to have discussed Barak's next move in the wake of Livni's primary victory, Army Radio reported.
Meanwhile, there's a possibility of a corruption investigation into the election that brought Livni to power in Kadima over questions of vote tampering and fraud.

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