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Ann C.

Israel is going to have to face Round 2 soon, and that round will probably include Syria and Iran, as well as Hezbullah. If OLMERT couldn't handle Hezbullah, what shape will Israel be in when Round 2 comes? If I was an Israeli right now I sure wouldn't want OLMERT leading the nation when Round 2 comes.

M. D'Souza

The priority of the moment is not to waste time and money on committees and commissions to find out what went wrong in the Israel-Lebanon war. We all know what went wrong – the army won, the leadership failed!

The enemies of Israel are all flutter about the unexpected ‘victory’ that was conferred upon them by the Nasrallah-flattering media and the Hizbullah-sympathetic UN. This has encouraged them to prepare for an all out ‘big war’ against Israel. Afterall, this ‘skirmish’ was just a trial run for them.

Israel’s national resolve should be to get a resolute leader, which Olmert is surely not. It is better he resigns in the interest of Israel, rather than stick around to appoint these committees and commissions to investigate the Lebanon war failures. He is holding on to power and recently did say that he intends to serve his full term of four years as PM. This will be a disaster for Israel’s national interests.

Olmert says that, for now his Convergence Plan is on hold. But one can never rely on Olmert’s whimsical words. For now ‘he buries the hatchet, but leaves the handle sticking out’. Anytime in future, he could pick the handle and ax the Jewish settlements just to appease the Arabs and please the international community.

Olmert needs to go. His Kadima needs to be dissolved.

steve peled

the leadership failed in its two attempts to destroy the morale and functional ability of the army.we took more casualties from the kadima led government than we did from hizbullah.all of this will culminate in the reoccupation of gaza by foreign troops, so as to provide a shield to the terrorists as they re arm and infiltrate into gaza.with the shield in the north,and in the south in place,the hostilities will resume.it need not be on a grand scale either,as our ability to respond will have been limited.perhaps we will go back to bombing empty buildings.this government has no credibility,no one believes that they will keep their word,and therefore no avenues to peace can be seriously conducted in negotiations.the arabs feel the same way about kadima as most jews do.an amazing synthesis in itself,i dont believe it is a breakthrough.however, with this government, nothing can be seriously considered,they will probably break up over money woes and not the serious damage done not only to israels security, but any prospects of resolving any disputes.

Michael  S.

I think it is really funny the way God works. Just like Baracula had to go, so will Olmert. Jews need to stop voting for leaders that beleive in an iimaginary peace and start voting for candidates that will lead Israel in the right direction.

blogrfactor

I personally do not think Olmert will ever resign as a result of a commission into the "War for Nothing". We dont know what was accomplished by this war; however one can come up with many theories (we can now evaluate our weaknesses militarily from a war that did not result in the loss of our country; the turn in public opinion polls regarding Olmert's convergence plan; send a message to our enemies that even for something perceived by most outside Israel as a minor event (kidnapping of soldiers) is not something we take lightly and can lead to war) Whatever the reason, as we approach the holiest days of the jewish year, we should all take stock of our actions and work to unite with our brothers that will lead to the ultimate redemption speedily in our days.

Luigi Frascati

I am aware of the mounting criticism in Israel against the Government's handling of the war, and as someone not living in Israel and really not deeply involved into Israeli domestic politics I am unable to say whether such mounting criticism is just and appropriate.

What I would like to point out, however, is that gone are the times when Israel could fully and freely display its might, military and political - and for reasons that really have nothing much to do with Israel per se. Times have changed. Take America, for example, Israel's closest ally: it is entangled into an ever-ending war in Iraq, worried by the nuclear proliferation of North Korea and Iran, involved in the hunt of the invisible Al-Qaeda enemy, burdened by an ever-increasing foreign debt, subjected to an ever-mounting financial competition by the expanding economies of India and China, contending with a United Europe that seems to be more divided than when Europe was ... well, divided, preoccupied with the whims and fancies of dictators the likes of Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, a primary oil supplier, unable to make a dent in the context of South American politics - America's own backyard, flooded by Mexicans, divided in its own internal politics, contending every so often with a United Nation that is becoming more and more anti-American with every passing day ..... and I'm sure I have missed something out.

My point is that an Hezbollah that, all of sudden, decides to shoot 4000+ rockets on to Israel is not, afterall, of the same relevance to America as it is for Israel. I am not saying that America dictates Israeli policies - I do not believe that for a second. I am saying, however, specifically with reference to UN Resolution 1701, that such Resolution was brokered by Secretary Rice BEFORE it was accepted by PM Olmert. I am saying that it was the White House idea to tell Jerusalem not to pound Lebanon too much for fear of disintegrating the already frail 'Lebanese democracy'. And I'm saying that, in ultimate analysis, America was the first to lack the resolve to take care of the Hezbollah problem well before the Israeli Government. And, by the way, this process of 'shrugging off' Hezbollah on the part of Ol' Uncle Sam has been going on since the beginning of the millennium. In essence Israel is suffering, by reflection, of the stress, over-stretching and fatigue so characteristic of American foreign policies in 2006. In a way things were easier before. Thirty years ago there was only the Soviet Union to contend with, and as much as the world was much more dangerous back then, politics were a lot simpler.

So, therefore, it is questionable under the circumstances whether a Government other than the present would have fared better in the Re-Engagement War. And if, in fact, there is going to be a second round like a commentator has stated above, it is questionable whether Israel would be free to act in a swift and resolute way with or without the Government of PM Olmert.

The world is much more integrated today than before, the primary effect of what they refer to in Economics as the 'Democratization of Wealth'. It is very easy to be mistaken for the bully when, in fact, one is the good guy. Look at the reportages of all the news broadcasting companies, including CNN (and with BBC topping the list): 80 percent of airtime devoted to the coverage of Lebanon, the devastation caused by 'those ugly Israelis', the Lebanese children left without a roof, all the um-pah-pah about humanitarian supplies coming from all over the world, and finally Lebanon that wins the lottery, so to speak, with a USD 1.6 billion contribution from the international community. And 20 percent of coverage given to Israel ... and to show what: a field in flame, easily contained by Israeli firefighters and well- fed, smiling and playful Israeli children well safe and secure into bomb shelters.

No wonder everybody forgot that it was Hezbollah that attacked first!

rench

Dont get your hopes up.Remember "most" Isrealies voted for Olmert and the gang.What did so many expect from Olmert.His past was clear his governing plans put forth etc.he's a moderate.not to strong and not to weak.Start and then pull back.Look for some middle ground.You get the point.Clearly the lebanon battle was half half at best.So now weve got a lavathin force to the north.A group of solders from several nations.Beating there sowds to plow shares.But whats needed is to beat the swods of hezbollah.So the stage is being set for the next round.One things certain when a swod is beat into a plow share it becomes useless both as an instrament of war and never gets molded into the allusive plow share.So i doubt the investagations of the current government will or can replace such madness.Remember theses leaders were voted into power.

FERN SIDMAN

THE ABANDONMENT OF OUR BROTHERS

BY: FERN SIDMAN

Now that the recent decision has been made to lift the Israeli naval blockade of Lebanon, we can only interpret this move as the final nail in the coffin in the already moribund Israeli strategy concerning the release of the three Israeli kidnapped soldiers. As of now, Hamas and Hezbollah have not released any signs of life from Gilad Shalit, Edud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. If these men are alive, the Israeli government has virtually abandoned them.

It is yet the latest phase in the otherwise abysmally impotent and incompetent policy of the Olmert administration. As we know, the Olmert government failed to formulate a successful military strategy in Lebanon, thereby achieving none of its stated objectives, leaving Israel in the wake of its worst military defeat since the creation of the state. Throughout the war, the Olmert government was riddled with hesitation, confusion and internal strife. More to the point, this military defeat places Israel in even greater danger in the future. Hezbollah and Hamas now can carry on further kidnappings of Israeli soldiers with impunity, while developing the military strength to do even greater damage to Israel. If this time around, the city of Tel Aviv was not the recipient of Katyusha rocket attacks, there is a greater possibility that down the road, more deadly and lethal military hardware will be developed that will indeed wreak great havoc, destruction and devastation. It is only a matter of time.

It is no wonder that there are calls for the immediate resignation of the entire Olmert government. If there has been any unifying factor in Israel as of late, it has been calls from both the far left and right for the Olmert government to resign. Seems like the only one satisfied with Olmert's performance during the war is none other than Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, who stated, ""If we have to choose between a foolish prime minister and another who is strong and capable, we prefer that the fool remain,” he told Lebanese Al-Safir newspaper Tuesday. Nasrallah made the comments when asked about the prime minister’s recent claims - themselves based on Nasrallah’s statements - that Israel had won the war. (Arutz Sheva - 9/7/06)

Last night in Tel Aviv over 40,000 Israelis protested against the Olmert government, demanding the formation of a state commission of inquiry of improprieties during the war. This protest was organized by Israeli army reservists who have been continually keeping a political fire under the Olmert government since the cease fire had been announced. They were joined in the outcry against the government by retired Meretz Party chairman Yossi Sarid, senior reserve officers and relatives of soldiers who fell during the war.

Under the banner Movement for Quality Government (MQG), the group is calling for a state commission to examine the government’s actions, while the reservists have been calling for the resignation of the top government officials for their management of the recent war in Lebanon.

According to an Arutz Sheva report of the protest, Eliad Shraga, chairman of the MQG stated, “The Prime Minister must open his eyes and realize that a state commission of inquiry is needed."

Also speaking at the protest were former Defense Minister Moshe Arens of the Likud, retired Meretz Party chairman Yossi Sarid, senior reserves officers and relatives of soldiers who fell during the war.

“It is unacceptable that those under investigation appoint the investigators,” Arens told the crowd. “Only a state commission of inquiry will examine in a thorough manner the decision of the government in the last war in Lebanon. Never have there been such confusing and contradictory orders issued in the handling of a war.”

“If we continue to remain silent, we will be hit with another bomb,” Movement For Quality Government spokesman Shuki Levanon said. He added that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had been invited to the protest, “to declare from this podium that he has heard the will of the people and will establish a state commission – but the chicken didn’t even answer.”

Just last week, in the same location in Tel Aviv, hundreds of thousands of Israelis demanded that the Olmert government secure the release of the three kidnapped soldiers, yet this cry of anguish has fallen on deaf ears. Within days of the protest, the government of Israel issued the order the lift the naval blockade of Lebanon. The government has thus far made no viable attempts to ensure the safe release of the kidnapped soldiers.

It is a government that has abandoned its people and its brothers. It is a government that is immersed in internal corruption, conflict and scandal. It is a government that suffers from a terminal case of inexhaustable loquaciousness, yet takes no actions in protecting its citizens or soldiers.

The demand for the resignation of the Olmert government has also been spotlighted in the Israeli media and the pressure is mounting at a rapid pace. It is time for the world Jewish community to weigh in on this most critical issue. We are a nation without real leadership, during a time when real and authentic leaders are so desperately needed. Leaders who will display the strength and fortitude it takes to devise a concrete plan to bring our kidnapped soldiers home and to deal with terrorism on both fronts with swift and decisive measures. We need leaders who can and will elevate a nation from its collective despair and loss of morale.

Silence on the part of world Jewry at this moment of paramount importance in the history of the Jewish nation is totally unacceptable and is equivalent to blatant apathy and indifference.
While anti-Semitism has reached epidemic proportions throughout the world, since the beginning of the war, particularly in England and Australia, it does not behoove the international Jewish community to remain silent. We are living in precarious times, times that do not bode well for the State of Israel and the Jews worldwide.

The time has come to realize that world Jewry must summon up the strength and courage to seize this moment while it still can. It is time to demand that the leadership of Israel be placed in the hands of those whose platform is the belief in the Almighty G-d of Israel and scrupulous adherence to Torah principles. Without Torah leadership, we are left with a leadership vacuum that can only lead to more destruction and deadly consequences for the future of Israel and the Jewish people.

As we approach the 16th yahrzeit of Rabbi Meir Kahane, ZTK"L let us take this time to remember his words of wisdom, vision and foresight. It was Rabbi Kahane who said, "The obligation to listen to, obey and respect the authority of government rests upon whether that government, in a particular case, is itself obeying the Torah, the need of the people". (Israel: Revolution or Referendum?, 1990, p.95)

It was Rabbi Kahane who also said, "No government, including the Israeli one, has any right to protest when - because of its failure to carry out its elementary duty to protect its citizens - individual Jews, who fear for their lives and future, rise up and act in self defense". (Israel: Revolution or Referendum?, 1990, p.118)

It is time to heed these words. In this month of Elul, we must seek to become closer to our Creator, to beseech Him to allow us to return to His holy Torah. It is a time to immerse ourselves in fervent prayer, to examine our deeds and misdeeds and to rectify them.It is time to reach out to our brothers in kindness and compassion. It is time to speak out against those in leadership who cannot and will not lead. It is time to demand a return to G-d. This is our only path to salvation as a people and as a nation. Our date of redemption is coming closer as we are in the midst of "Chevlei Moshiach", the birth pangs of our holy Redeemer. Our future is inextricably tied to our efforts to infuse ourselves and our leadership with true Torah values.

May we always remember the words of the sweet singer of Israel, King David who said, "Teach me the way, Oh G-d, that I may walk in Your Truth". (Psalms)

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This has encouraged them to prepare for an all out ‘big war’ against Israel. Afterall, this ‘skirmish’ was just a trial run for them.

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