June 26, 2006

Scared and alone

This poor 19 year-old soldier of Israel spends his second night in terror at the hands of murderous Arab abductors who have already killed two of his comrades. That they succeeded in their surprise attack - through a tunnel under the new Gaza border- is the result of Olmert’s failure to heed the advice of his own military chiefs on issues of border security. And for what? For a few brownie points with the West which – if they have any value at all – only last as long as our next act of national self-defence.

Early reports suggest that the OC southern command hesitated in ordering a hot pursuit operation behind enemy lines for fear of breaking Olmert’s strict ground rules for not compromising Mr Abbas. It is high time that the IDF was allowed to do its job the way it knows best. Ours is a moral and trustworthy army which can be relied upon to do the right thing.

In times past, the tormented parents of such a hapless soldier would be encamped outside the prime minister’s residence asking him to do whatever was necessary to bring their son home safely. The parents of Gideon Shalit might well ask Olmert the time-worn question: “What if it were your son out there?”

Sadly, in Olmert’s case, such a question may have precious little impact.

Neither of his sons has ever served in the Israeli army.

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