May 01, 2007

"Thank G-d for Olmert"

Ehud Olmert is literally choking on the far harsher censure than he had expected from the Winograd Inquiry on his personal handling of last year's Lebanon war.

Expecting something milder from a judge he had personally chosen to head the enquiry, Olmert had already prepared his 'acceptance speech' long before receiving the report at 4pm yesterday.

And there was still plenty of time for the make-up girl to powder the sweaty brow before the 'lights-camera-action' cue for his televised trot-out of more pious words and platitudes and the promise of an 'inquiry into the inquiry'.

Call me old fashioned, but I have always believed that everything that happens in the Land of Israel - however bad it may appear at the time - is orchestrated by the Almighty.

For Him there must have been two priorities very recently.

First, to punish those who ordered the eviction of their fellow Jews from their homes, the demolition of their synagogues and the uprooting of graves in the Yesha communities. Second, to wake Jews up to the lethal missile threat they were ignoring in the north.

If you are still with me ... marvel at the wondrous works of the Almighty.

Let's start with the architect of the Gaza disengagement - Ariel Sharon.
Perhaps in recognition of his illustrious past, he was given his first stroke as a gentle warning.
But 'pride goeth before a fall' . And instead of heeding that warning, Sharon scoffed at it - barrelling out of the hospital within days in a rush to get back to his new Kadima party which promised to uproot even more Jews and their communities in Judea and Samaria.

And so, the Good Lord decided to finish the job.
But in a very special way.
The second stroke turned Sharon into a vegetable.
A state in which he has remained for over a year.

Ever thought why that might be?
Well there are lots of clues to be found in the Torah.
G-d always repaid those who defied Him 'middah ke-negged middah' (like for like).
That's how, for example, the Pharaoh who drowned Jewish firstborns was himself drowned in the sea.

And so there lies Sharon, fallen hero of Israel. Dead for a year, but still not buried.
Perhaps it is because the hallowed soil of our promised land refuses to receive him.
A man who tore out so many graves from that soil for purely political ends.

Leaving Sharon in this pitiful state of limbo, the Almighty then went on to 'visit the sins of the father' on the party he created.

In short order he has turned the whole of Kadima into a laughingstock.
Utterly discredited as the most inept, useless and corrupt government imaginable.
Hardly a day passes without some new scandal.

And so we now witness the end of Kadima and of Ehud Olmert as its unelected leader.
But not before they had assisted with another priority the Almighty was concerned about.
That small matter of 20,000 missiles in Lebanon.

All analysts have agreed that the Lebanon threat had not been taken seriously enough and, if ignored for another year or so, the danger to Israel may well have reached an existential level.

What's also agreed is that neither Sharon nor most other experienced leaders would have rushed into war over the kidnapped soldiers. And without the war, there may well have been a negotiated settlement, border sanctions or a prisoner exchange to defuse the crisis. That was certainly Nasrallah’s expectation.

So it needed an amateur team like Olmert and Peretz to be ‘in place’ at just the right time to launch the unlikely war which ultimately exposed the true extent of Hizbulla's strength in missiles and reinforced bunkers. It also exposed the serious weaknesses in the IDF command structure, all of which are now being addressed as they should be.

Thank G-d.

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