Background: In absence of continuous rocket fire, "three monkey mode" should
work for PM Olmert
Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 26 November, 2006
In the absence of continuous rocket fire, it should be fairly easy for Prime
Minister Olmert's team to adopt the "three monkey mode" (hear no evil, see
no evil, speak no evil) towards large scale Palestinian arms build ups
exploiting the ceasefire.
If there is only sporadic rocket fire, Mr. Olmert can be expected to agree
to extend the ceasefire to the West Bank (thus enabling the Palestinians to
accelerate their rocket program there as well) with an eye towards
negotiating more Israeli withdrawals without requiring the Palestinians to
ever actually collect weapons.
If the current verbal understanding (it is based in part on what Mr. Olmert
claims he heard on the telephone from PA head Mahmoud Abbas) required the
collection of weapons there might have been something a third party could
readily point to as an indication that the agreement was not being honored:
the failure of the PA to show piles of confiscated weapons. But without a
requirement to confiscate weapons, it will be next to impossible to
demonstrate that the understanding has been violated:
If a reporter manages to photograph a warehouse stocked with rockets,
apologists can claim that they were produced before the ceasefire was
declared. If he photographs rockets being assembled, they can argue that
the components were produced before the ceasefire.
If smugglers are trapped in a collapsed tunnel, they can argue that they
were "importing" highly taxed products rather than weapons.
If tons of explosives are photographed next to a smuggling tunnel they can
explain that it was smuggled in before the ceasefire.
This evening Israel Television Channel Two military affairs correspondent
Ronnie Daniel reported that the IDF is extremely concerned that Hamas, with
assistance from Iran, will exploit the ceasefire to built and equip its army
in the Gaza Strip and prepare a network of bunkers following the same
strategy as in Lebanon. Israel Television Channel One Arab Affairs
Correspondent Oded Granot noted that the ceasefire can be expected to last
only a limited time as Hamas leader Mashaal says they will launch war
against Israel in six months if their demands are not met.
Until that war, Mr. Olmert can hope for improved polls and the opportunity
to make Washington-pleasing (and perhaps more importantly, Attorney General
Mazuz-pleasing) concessions to the Palestinians as he enjoys a respite from
clashes with Defense Minister Peretz who can be expected to focus his
efforts during the pre-war "window" on preparing for the fight of his
personal political life in the upcoming Labor Party primaries.
And what better way to run in the Labor Party primaries than appearing in
photo ops marking various Israeli concessions to the Palestinians?
Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
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