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Emanuel Winston is the Freeman Center's Middle East analyst. He has published over 2500 articles and given hundreds of radio and television interviews and has been a major supporter of Israeli institutions of higher learning for over two decades.


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PostFri May 12, 2006 9:57 pm     OLMERT’S GOVERNMENT IS DYSFUNCTIONAL    


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OLMERT’S GOVERNMENT IS DYSFUNCTIONAL
~by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator

Something of a dire nature has been developing for some time in Israel. It’s not that governments are expected to run smoothly but, in Israel’s case, successive governments have taken on the profile of a dysfunctional family.

For example, one of the primary directives of all Israeli governments has been the ability to defend the Jewish nation against her hostile neighbors. Why then would now PM Ehud Olmert appoint a man to the post of Defense Minister whose qualifications are less than zero. Amir Peretz was merely a tank maintenance mechanic, a job usually reserved for those considered unfit for combat or leadership roles. (No insult intended to tank mechanics who do play a vital part in keep Israel’s excellent armor up and rolling.) But, such a man is hardly qualified to be Defense Minister in later life. Nor has his role as Labor Party leader, who used his position to bring the nation’s workforce to a standstill with numerous work strikes, qualify him for being Defense Minister - but the reverse.

The real culprit was PM Olmert himself who is not qualified, given his past history of merely being a behind-the-scenes lawyer and an unflattering manipulator who used his successive government positions to advance his personal "good" fortune.

A just-released annual State Comptroller’s report, accusing PM Olmert of gross corruption. The Comptroller’s report also cites Police and Civil Service employment practices.

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss details how Olmert, while under Ariel Sharon, chaired the Israel Land Council as Minister of Industry and Trade, used his authority in the questionable sale of properties at the Jaffa Port. Mandatory bidding was ignored and property estimates at $13.5 Million dollars was sold for $2.3 Million Dollars. The idea of conflict-of-interest never entered the mind of Olmert or, if it did, it was ignored.

Olmert was merely a lowly ‘go-fer’ when in the Army, hardly qualifying him as a future leader of an embattled nation. He has gathered around him a collection of similarly dis-functional Cabinet with many presently under police investigation for misuse of their position and money when in government posts.

Regrettably, the Police Department have become so politicized under various governments that the Police are no longer looked upon as fair and balanced authorities. They often keep investigations going for 6 or more years and when they wish to apply pressure to a certain politician or General, they suddenly activate the file.

(If this reminds you of J. Edgar Hoover’s secret files on U.S. Congressmen used as an instrument of blackmail to force compliance, you would be right.)

Should Arik Sharon wake up from his coma, he could be faced with serious charges of using his various positions prior to and later as Prime Minister in personal gain.

The Olmert conglomeration of inept appointees defies descriptive words of "crisis in government". From Olmert on down to whatever party hack could threaten to withhold their support, they were offered position and funds to go along with Olmert’s "Convergence" Doctrine.

It appears that every department that makes up the rule and function of running the nation is merely a political reward given over to a party hack. This particular government under Olmert called Kadima may be the most incompetent, dysfunctional government Israel has ever had.

Recall that Olmert was one of the key advisors to Sharon who advised abandoning Gush Katif in Gaza, despite warnings from the General Staff and top Security officials that Gaza would shortly become a global operational base for International Terrorism. Olmert’s unwise counsel was the result of a man who had not a clue as to what he was advising or what the results would be. As predicted, Gaza has indeed become a staging area/training ground for Terrorists and a launching pad for Kassam Rockets and Katyusha Missiles. Olmert was NOT held to account and slipped past being held culpable for this disaster that is growing exponentially.

Now Olmert, along with his entourage of dysfunctional accomplices, wishes to duplicate his Gaza blunder in the much larger areas of Judea and Samaria. This, of courese, ties into the Bush "Road Map" and what Bush demands. Under a series of governments, the party hacks ran the affairs of government to suit their own purposes and line their own pockets. Vital and important and important projects for the nation were shunted aside as the politicians fed like pigs at the public trough. The former radio station now website, Arutz 7 points out that there should have been seven desalination plants up and running by now but, only one has been built.

Despite the ever-present threat of long-term drought on a Biblical level, these past governments (including Sharon and now Olmert) simply ignored the problem in deference to their more personal gains and status.

I will add to this criminal stupidity, the plan of Olmert to turn over the Judean and Samarian mountain hills, under which lies the irreplaceable aquifer that furnishes the coastal plain with 30% of its water. So - when does mere greed, avarice, and even stupidity cross the threshold into criminal negligence - even treason? RIGHT NOW!

Under the earlier Olso Accords signed September 13, 1993 and then the Gush Katif blunder, weapons flowed in abundance into Gaza and the 7 cities of Nablus, Tulkarem, Jenin, Qalqilya, Ram’Allah, Bethlehem, Gaza and Jericho, turned over to the control of Yassir Arafat, head of the new Palestinian Authority. The new Defense Minister Amir Peretz declares he will instead instruct the army to attack the Jews in Judea and Samaria. As Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says repeatedly in his Muslim "Mein Kampf" that he will destroy Israel and wipe it off the map. Peretz and Olmert focus on driving the best and most patriotic off the Land. Ahmadinejad now moves toward nuclear-tipped missiles to do the job while these incompetents fiddle.

Olmert is now coming to America May 23rd to get money and Bush approval to further weaken the Jewish State of Israel, divide Jerusalem and roust the Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria.

Recall how the German Nazis used to shout at the Jews; "Raus! Raus!" as they forced them out of their homes. Olmert is not preparing to face the rise of fanatic "Jihadists" (fighters for Islam) either inside of Israel or outside of her borders. The Army Generals are fearful of losing their jobs if they defy Olmert so the IDF soldiers are not being trained either to fight a war or even to believe in what they are fighting for. Instead, this doctrine is being molded to fit the Bush "Road Map" to establish the Palestinian State so a victory of sorts can be claimed as the Bush Legacy.

If the present Israeli government doesn’t care, why should the Army? If ever there was a time for a new law, allowing (or mandating) a full military Tribunal and subsequent courts martial for a government, that time is now. Israel cannot afford a government that has turned into an asylum for the most dysfunctional of its people. This is a fight to the death and not an opportunity for corrupt politicians to play "Let’s Make A Deal!"


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