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Sun

17

Aug

2008

Hasta la Vista Ehud
Sunday, 17 August 2008 12:00
by Tom Chartier

It’s no bed of roses at the top is it? As I’ve always said, nobody actually qualified to lead a country wants the job. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has found out the hard way.

With a touch of bitterness on Wednesday, July 30, PM Olmert announced that he is stepping down and out in September. I can’t say as I blame him. His stint as Israeli PM has seen more lowlights than highlights. The 2006 revenge war where Israel bombed the snot out of Southern Lebanon in an attempt to destroy Hezbollah didn’t exactly come out the same way as previous Israeli wars. As usual, lots of civilians died. But unlike the PLO in 1982, Hezbollah was not routed from Lebanon. How could they be? Hezbollah is made up of mostly Lebanese rather than Palestinians intruding upon Lebanon. Israel came out looking like the losers, which they were, with humus all over their faces. Hezbollah survived which equals victory.

All this made Ehud Olmert look very bad in the eyes of the Israeli public not accustomed to humiliating defeats. Old Ehud just could not fill the shoes of his predecessor “war hero” and tough guy Ariel Sharon who so thoughtlessly dropped into a coma. Mr. Olmert got stuck with the thankless job of PM. How rude.

As the former mayor of Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert managed to accumulate a heap of dirty dealings and scandals. I don’t see what the fuss has been all about. That’s just good solid politics isn’t it? Oh well, the ghosts have been haunting Ehud much of late. It hasn’t helped that Israel exchanged a bona-fide murderer for the bodies of the two IDF soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah, which set off the 2006 war. More humus on Israel’s face… as well as Ehud Olmert.

So time for new Israeli leadership.

But are these scandals, humiliations and defeats the real reason Ehud Olmert is calling it quits? Sure, they’re enough to topple any self-respecting leader. (My little joke. Leaders of States rarely earn respect except in their delusional minds… and on TV.) But I wonder, is there more to it?

As a rule the public is rarely shown anything more than the tip of the camel’s hump. The inner workings of State are well hidden and for good reason. They are never spoiled by any morality. Surprise, surprise. So is Ehud jumping or being pushed?

Not being a war hero of the 1967 Six-Day War hasn’t helped. Neither could Mr. Olmert claim a title as impressive as “The Butcher of Beirut” like Ariel Sharon. In fact Ehud has even dared to toy with the idea of… and I shudder at the thought… peace. A-ha! This may have been the straw that broke the Olmert’s back.

Under Olmert’s leadership what has been going on most recently? Peace talks with Syria the undeclared fourth hub in the Axis of Evil. Syria, the last country defeated by Israel in the 1967 war that has yet to sign a peace treaty with Israel. Syria, the friends of Iran. Syria, the supporters of… Hezbollah.

I would think that after 41 years some sort of peace deal with Syria would be a good idea. But what do I know?

You see there’s a little problem with peace and Syria. It’s called the Golan Heights. You all knew that didn’t you? Captured from Syria in 1967 the Golan is a great place to farm, raise sheep or shoot projectiles at kibbutzim in Galilee. I’m none too sure Israel has any intention of giving that chunk of real estate back. In fact, if you look at some maps of Israel, the Golan is part of Israel.

Syria tends to disagree. They insist on the return of the Golan Heights as a condition of any peace treaty. Think of it as “land for peace.” Hm… where have I heard that before?

Syrian officials have held out the carrot of peace with the entire Arab world for the return of the Golan Heights. That would be a good thing if possible wouldn’t it? Do you suppose Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was tempted to bite?

Maybe talking peace with Syria is the real reason Olmert is being handed his yarmulke.

Consider who is lining up to replace Olmert.

According to a poll conducted by the Israeli paper Haaretz, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is favored by most Israelis as their next Prime Minister. He’s the man who tore up the Oslo Accords in favor of the Neocon penned “Clean Break Report,” a roadmap to more nasty business. (Yes, some of the very same Neocon “thinkers” who have led the U.S. into the pit of jackals.)

Another prime candidate for Prime Minister is Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni a former Mossad agent unwilling to give up the Golan Heights and quite willing to bomb Iran. Also as reported by Haaretz, Ariel Sharon’s inner circle is gathering their support for Ms. Livni.

It seems the powers that be of Israeli politics are pulling strings to install someone better suited to follow in the footsteps of the Butcher of Beirut than Ehud Olmert.
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