Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Seven idiots in the Israeli cabinet

By Yossi Sarid (Published 01:42 01.06.10)

This time, it was all foreseeable. Even this newspaper warned in advance about the possibility of defeat in victory. As preparations for the big sea confrontation proceeded, it became increasingly clear that it would end badly. 

After all, the troops were being prepared by seven idiots and their subordinates - people who cannot see beyond the ends of their noses. 

We are periodically told that Israel has never had a forum of leading ministers so businesslike and thorough; even Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman displays insight and responsibility at meetings, says Defense Minister Ehud Barak. 

And who will attest to Barak's own talents and judgment? Perhaps those soldiers who never returned from battle? Seven ministers versus seven ships - not aircraft carriers, or even destroyers, but small boats, laden with hundreds of people. Not all are righteous, but neither are they terrorists. But suddenly, without warning, this barely seaworthy flotilla became a threatening armada. 

Before the battle of Trafalgar, Admiral Horatio Nelson, like the Allied commanders before D-Day, understood that their country's fates hung in the balance. It's enough to make you despair when thinking about our leaders: For them, every day is D-Day. So what will happen when total war actually breaks out here? 

And it's disturbing to think about our army, which trips every time it is ordered to march. And don't believe their promises that next time will be different. There are always plenty of excuses, but judged by the results, it's always the same old disaster. 

Elite units are supposed to know how to take over a ship without sinking the state, how to overcome passengers wielding clubs and knives without sowing death, how to keep two pistols and a rifle from being wrested from them. 

But a physical confrontation should never have been allowed to develop to begin with. If this was indeed a "political/media provocation," we should never have let ourselves become entangled in it. 

Had we simply let the flotilla reach Gaza - an option that was proposed - a cry of victory would indeed have erupted from the other side, but it would have died out in a day or two. But the Israel of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Barak, of ministers Moshe Ya'alon and Benny Begin, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer and Eli Yishai and even Dan Meridor, is vying with Hamas and Hezbollah over who can produce the most resounding demonstrations of strength - which amount to nothing but humiliating evidence of weakness. 

How did we so become so devoid of confidence in our ends that we instead put our trust in ways and means that dead-end on every passing ship? Had only we at least not dropped the soldiers one by one straight into the angry mob. 

What ought to come next is a demand for a probe, but it seems pointless. Stupidity knows no bounds, and it is a ministerial prerogative. And what is boundless is also unfathomable. 

So the septet will persist in its evil ways, endangering us more than any ship could, for madness will rule us. That gang in Jerusalem will insist on drowning us again and again, for there is no courage to change even after all the disasters. 

And we will continue to fear our leaders - as if we didn't have enough to fear in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.


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