I grow more sympathetic to “Arabist” alternatives to the current Middle East equilibrium with every passing day. Israel conspicuously wastes time and money instead of doing what it obviously needs to do to defend itself. If Israel is too weak to stand up for itself, it is not worth anybody’s time.
… Netanyahu accused the Olmert government of failing the people of Israel by tolerating the relentless attacks out of Gaza, and said the IDF knew exactly how to counter the violence but was being prevented from doing so by “a failure of the political leadership.”
The Post reported Thursday that according to assessments in Jerusalem, a major IDF incursion into the Gaza Strip to significantly weaken Hamas – similar but more difficult than Operation Defensive Shield in the West Bank in 2002 – would not take place until about a month or a month-and-a-half after US President George W. Bush’s planned visit here in mid-May.
By then, the last of the world’s leaders to have come here to celebrate the state’s 60th anniversary would have left. The timing would also place the incursion in the middle of summer, considered an optimal time for this type of operation.
If we didn’t already have such a copious track record of passivity from Olmert, I would have assumed this was disinformation.
It would be so horrific if world leaders decided to boycott Israel’s 60th birthday, simply because Israel decided to defend herself.
Meanwhile, global commodities markets teeter on edge. Israelis are too weak to defend themselves; it’s well known that over 1/3 of the IDF is first- or second-generation Russo-Israeli, not native Israeli. Clearly the preponderance of native Israelis doesn’t see national self-defense as particularly urgent.
The positive justifications, not to mention the opportunity costs, of American Mideast involvement are approaching their own Minsky Moment.
Olmert is not simply consigning “valuable” Israeli lives to the guillotine of global opinion. He is becoming an impediment to orderly commerce far beyond Israel’s borders and a profound drain on American resources.
The fact of the matter is that any institutional actor with a nuclear weapon does not abuse it. Iran is not going to nuke anyone. The world doesn’t look quite so threatening and insecure once you have an atomic bomb.
Israel is holding up a regional accommodation because it would then be doomed to slow extermination by incremental violence. However, it’s not so perturbed that it will actually do any heavy lifting to quash Hezbollah by itself. They are either dragging out American involvement in Iraq or lying to themselves; it’s one or the other.
Only the most feeble or complacent of peoples would tolerate such a derelict for a leader, as Israelis have of Ehud Olmert.