Mandate for Palestine - July 24, 1922

Mandate for Palestine - July 24, 1922
Jordan is 77% of former Palestine - Israel, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza comprise 23%.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Israel's 60th Wedding Anniversary - A Military Coup?

[Published September 2007]

Israel's enemies have become emboldened into believing that the moment is fast approaching when they can once again try to achieve their long held aim to eradicate Israel.

They have taken this view following Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 and what they perceive to be a victory over Israel in the 2006 Lebanon War.

Iran - Hezbollah's puppet master and chief arms supplier - has openly threatened to unleash its nuclear weapons on Israel's 7 million citizens - 20% of whom are Arabs.

Its leader Ahmadinejad freely enters America to speak at Columbia University and be interviewed by American media outlets and to address the United Nations which takes no steps to suspend Iran's membership and allows him to spew his racist and anti-semitic epithets without demur. The world moves slowly and with great reluctance to isolate this megalomaniac and his regime.

Hamas continues to fire rockets and mortars into Israeli civilian populations on a daily basis from Gaza with no apparent end in sight as Israel ponders on what steps to take to end this inhuman onslaught.

Attempted terror attacks emanating from Gaza and the West Bank by Hamas and Fatah cohorts are being continually foiled only by alert and resolute military action.

Israelis need to be confident that it has the best leaders - both political and military - to confront the existential and terrorist threats being made by Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hezbollah and Fatah, and to make decisions concerning the West Bank and Gaza that are in Israel's best national interest.

The following extract from an interim report issued on 30 April 2007 by the Winograd Commission charged with inquiring into Israel's conduct of the 2006 War, seriously questions the judgement of Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to do just that:

"a. The Prime Minister bears supreme and comprehensive responsibility for the decisions of 'his' government and the operations of the army. His responsibility for the failures in the initial decisions concerning the war stem from both his position and from his behavior, as he initiated and led the decisions which were taken.

b. The Prime Minister made up his mind hastily, despite the fact that no detailed military plan was submitted to him and without asking for one. Also, his decision was made without close study of the complex features of the Lebanon front or of the military, political and diplomatic options available to Israel. He made his decision without systematic consultation with others, especially outside the IDF, despite not having experience in external-political and military affairs. In addition, he did not adequately consider political and professional reservations presented to him before the fateful decisions of July 12th.

c. The Prime Minister is responsible for the fact that the goals of the campaign were not set out clearly and carefully, and that there was no serious discussion of the relationship between these goals and the authorized modes of military action. He made a personal contribution to the fact that the declared goals were over-ambitious and not feasible.

d. The Prime Minister did not adapt his plans once it became clear that the assumptions and expectations of Israel's actions were not realistic and were not materializing.

e. All of these add up to a serious failure in exercising judgment, responsibility and prudence."

The Commission's interim Report was equally critical of the Minister of Defence and the Chief of Staff both of whom took the honourable course and handed over their duties and functions to others hopefully ensuring that the military will again be the power that it has previously been in guaranteeing Israel's safety and security and ability to withstand the threats to end its existence. .

Mr Olmert however refused to resign or call fresh elections to seek the public's confirmation that he was still the best man to lead them - arrogantly ignoring massive public demonstrations calling on him to do just that.

Mr. Olmert currently enjoys only 3% public support and is being investigated for alleged criminal conduct. He is reportedly engaging in secret discussions with Palestinian Authority and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on the creation of an Arab State between Israel and Jordan that could necessitate the removal of up to 450000 Jews from their homes in the West Bank.

It was Mr Olmert who claimed credit for a similar policy that saw the removal of 8000Jews from their homes in Gaza in August 2005. Thousands still remain in temporary residences and uncompensated to this day - their lives shattered. Gaza has now been declared an "enemy entity" by Israel - surely an admission of failure of this policy aimed at creating a peaceful - not warring - neighbour.

The military played a significant part in carrying out that Government decision. The television images of soldiers crying with those they were forced to remove remain indelibly imprinted on the Israeli military psyche particularly on many in military command positions.

Will the military again allow itself to be used in the forced removal of tens of thousands of Jews from their homes against their will? Many in the Army have already refused to remove Jews from recently settled areas where Government permission to live had not been granted. How many more would join them in refusing to obey orders to remove Jews from legally authorised areas where they had lived for up to 40 years? Would they be prepared to again trust Mr Olmert's judgement after the Gaza debacle?

In no more than eight weeks time Mr Olmert's agreement with Mr Abbas will be exposed to the glare of critical analysis. Hopefully the final Winograd Report , originally expected in July, will be also available. Its condemnation of Mr Olmert will be no less scathing than the interim Report. The growing threat posed by Iran will have also escalated. Hamas and Hezbollah will be champing at the bit.

This confluence of events could test the resolve of Israel's armed forces, especially if Mr Olmert continues to refuse to call fresh elections or ignores the military's recommendations on any of these issues.

If that were to happen some in Israel's armed forces might be provoked into attempting what has previously been unthinkable - a coup that dismisses the Government and puts in place a process that calls for fresh elections within six months.

Hopefully Mr Olmert will resign and let the people - not the Army or the current Government - have their say on whether he should continue to be their Prime Minister or who should replace him.

A coup is the last gift Israel needs in its 60th birthday year

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