February 28, 2007

Wake Up Israel !

Another day in Israel when the headlines are filled with the most pressing national priorities.

Not defense, crime or health but – again – the issue of ministerial appointments. In most countries the appointment of ministers is a process that is all sorted within a couple of weeks after a general election.

But in the land of Israel it can go on for a year. Especially when the whole purpose of the maneuverings is to prop up a totally worthless coalition of self-interested lackeys.

Today it’s the cabinet’s nomination of Estherina Tartman as new Minister of Tourism. Looking more like a beauty consultant than a minister, Tartman is not an establishment figure like Peres or Pines-Paz. She is number two in the far right Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel is our Home) party, which wants to deport Arabs from within the green line. (Not much tourism involved here, but quite a lot of travel.)

So the establishment sleuths quickly set about searching for dirt. After most likely drawing a blank on the usual suspects of sex, bribes and free match tickets from Gaydamak, they dug into her résume. Allegedly she had fabricated a bogus BA and MBA.

Her boss Avigdor Lieberman is furious. He was the latest arrival to this disreputable and scandal-ridden government and was charged with drawing up an Iran strategy for Israel. What he said yesterday reveals his sense of priorities as this affair unfolds:

"We have waited to take care of the Iranian threat and the kidnapped soldiers, whose fate is no less important than that of Estherina."

‘No less important’ huh?

What a revealing and sickening choice of words!

Over 80 percent of the time, energy and focus of this government since last summer’s war seems to have been on coalition tinkering, pitched battles over ministerial appointments, the Katsav scandal and the Peres accession, Olmert’s various corruption charges and the Ramon trial, the Winograd hearings and the replacement of the Chief of Staff, the police scandal and the further investigation of the disgraced police chief’s designated replacement on previous corruption charges. It doesn’t end.

But for all the clamor in the Knesset corridors, don’t you notice the silence? That deafening silence from Hassan Nasralla in the North. After the war, Israel mocked him for going into hiding and dared him to come out. It’s true that we have not seen much of him since the cease fire. But that’s not because he fears an IDF bullet. Olmert is the very last person to order such a bold move.

The truth is that whilst Olmert and his pals have been playing with their toys, Nasralla’s focus has been 99 percent on ‘round two’ in Lebanon. He has witnessed weak leadership in our government and disarray in the IDF. At the same time he saw the enormous potential of missile warfare. He is totally focused on delivering the final victory to his paymasters in Iran and Syria. They have seen that Sharon’s unexpected demise was an Allah-given opportunity to achive a stunning victory over Israel. After all, what were the chances of a Rottweiler like Sharon being replaced by two incompetent pooches like Olmert and Peretz? Nasralla sees that it is only a question of time before Israel wakes up to the reality that there is something a lot more important than the appointment of ministers.

You might have thought that planning the next war day and night might leave poor old Nasrallah stressed out. But I am sure he takes time out for some light entertainment.

Like watching the evening news on Israel TV.

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