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Thursday, December 27, 2007
Weekly Commentary: Olmert hasn't learned

Weekly Commentary: Olmert hasn't learned

Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 27 December 2007

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's supporters cite the bombing of the Syrian
facility on September 6 as proof that Olmert has learned from the fiasco in
the Second Lebanon War.

Unfortunately, this is hardly the case.

The problem is that the operation in Syria is the exception - not the rule.

The operation shows what Israel can do when it recognizes a serious problem,
prepares and then executes a plan to address it.

And in a timely fashion.

But Olmert hasn't done this for any of Israel's other many problems and
challenges.

The Olmert team has at best a vague notion of what it actually expects or
wants from the Palestinians vis-a-vis the roadmap.

The underpinnings of Olmert's final status talks philosophy are no deeper
than the mutterings one hears at a dinner party attended by like minded
withdrawal supporters. That's "like minded" because much of it would not
survive a reasonable discussion in which contrasting views were also
considered.

To make matters worse, Mr. Olmert's remarks serve to seriously devalue
Israel's "bargaining chips" by presenting Israeli withdrawals as a gain
rather than sacrifice and this while arguing that Israel essentially has no
choice but to accept a final status deal at any price.

The Olmert team hasn't done any better in its mishandling of the smuggling
into Gaza from Egypt where it has participated in a time consuming wild
goose chase after a technological solution to the problem instead of
proposing and pushing for a workable expeditious solution.

The same can be said for the Gaza Strip situation in general. Yes, the IDF
and intelligence services have had some successes with targeted killing.
But the Olmert team has yet to even make clear what its minimum demands are
for the area, with leading members seeming to indicate that a Palestinian
cease fire that is accompanied by continued weapons smuggling and rocket
construction would be acceptable and not acceptable in the same breath.

The Olmert team's failures extend far beyond the Arab-Israeli conflict.

On the education front we have the high school strike that was resolved only
after doing incredible damage to the students - including 12th graders
slated to be drafted this summer, while Israel's university students may
very well lose the entire year.

And the list goes on.

The nation can ill afford another year of the same.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
INTERNET ADDRESS: imra@netvision.net.il
Website: http://www.imra.org.il

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