(photo credit: )
Some commentators called Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra's appearance at the Amona Commission a "long slip of the tongue" but they obviously don't really now the ex-Shin Bet operative Ezra didn't slip up, he meant to say every word and the chorus of criticism didn't cause him any regrets.
Ezra was ostensibly on the stand to defend his police officers from politically motivated attacks, his real objective was to issue a stern warning to all Kadima's enemies: Don't Mess With Us.
That's the reason that he didn't stick to the issue at hand but fired a broadside in an altogether unexpected direction, former Police Investigations Chief Moshe Mizrahi, the bete noire of many a minister, who used wiretappings and leaks to the press to entrap politicians.
Ariel Sharon was marketed to us over the last six years as the nation's grandfather, all the rest of Kadima's ministers were supposed to stay in his shadow. Now Sharon is gone and the new model is of ruthless operatives, crafty lawyers like Ehud Olmert and Ronny Bar-On and former members of the secret services like Tzipi Livni and Ezra. These hard-hitting politicos don't take any nonsense from anyone - press, law or parliament.
It didn't matter that Kadima lost two votes in the Knesset over the formation of the commission, they weren't going to allow the Right to haul them over the coals for the traumatic evacuation of the outpost.
Ezra and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz got the attorney-general to issue them an opinion allowing them to appear instead of IDF and police officers. The outcry from Likud and National Union MKs that they were demeaning the Knesset was like water off a duck's back.
Then Ezra arrived at the commission spoiling for a fight, practically blaming the MKs for the threats against his officers. As a parting shot, he said he wouldn't allow anyone to turn his police into "a punching bag, not right-wing MKs and not the leftist leakers, such as Mizrahi and his friends, and it's a pity that he's still on the police force."
Neither was Mofaz ready to shoulder any part of the blame. On the contrary, the parents of the young demonstrators at Amona "who sent them there should account for themselves."
Just like Ronny Bar-On, who a couple of weeks ago issued a veiled threat to Amir Peretz of an embarrassing scandal that he might just be tempted to reveal, Kadima's ministers are making things very clear. They're declaring: We are the rulers now, we're going to win these elections and anyone who tries to mess with us - settlers, MKs, investigative reporters, the "law and order mafia" in the police and the Justice Ministry - will find out that they're wasting time and might just end up getting hurt.