Don't waste time

There is no cause for despair. Israel has two worthy leaders in reserve exactly for a time like this.

August 24, 2006 01:49
2 minute read.
bibi netanyahu profile

netanyahu 298 88 aj. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])


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Avi Dichter's declaration that he would be willing to give up the Golan Heights in exchange for peace with Syria unfortunately demonstrates just how unready he still is to be a national leader. In other words, a person can be a successful, effective Shin Bet chief, as Dichter was, in the war on suicide terrorists, but where responsible strategic-diplomatic thinking is concerned, Dichter is a novice. It consequently comes as no surprise that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert hurried to dissociate himself from Dichter's willingness to make concessions to Syria, strengthening the people of the Golan Heights in their fight to protect their homes. Truth be told, the new generation of candidates for national leadership is nothing to write home about. And what can one expect from the Kadima coalition chairman, Avigdor Yitzhaki, who is himself suspected of having been involved in a dubious financial deal? And he is threatening to come up with a new coalition excluding the Labor Party. And Kadima's big star, Justice Minister Haim Ramon, has just been forced to resign after being charged with sexual misconduct, for the time being sparing the country a political manipulator, an uninhibited demagogue who was the prime minister's confidant. So can politicians like this restore Israel's strength - that of the bruised Israel Defense Force and the battered home front, and of the Jewish, Zionist morale of the country, which finds itself facing an existential threat? Of course not. With political scarecrows such as these, the casualties of the home front will suffer during their rehabilitation no less that those uprooted from Gush Katif. BUT THERE is no cause for despair. Israel has two worthy leaders in reserve exactly for a time like this - Ehud Barak and Binyamin Netanyahu - two former prime ministers who have proved their worth just as they have paid for their mistakes. Netanyahu certainly succeeded in assessing the dangers in advance - in contrast with the peaceniks and unilateralists that contemptuously scoffed at him. Ehud Barak as chief of staff and as prime minister remained calm and collected at difficult moments, of which the State of Israel can expect many more in the foreseeable future. Neither of these leaders has any place in the current poor excuse for a government, one that is living on borrowed time. The political question is how the process that will bring them both - separately or together - back to leadership of the country, preferably in joint emergency leadership, can be shortened. IN MY opinion, they are the only ones that remain right now in Israel's national arsenal capable of undertaking a major overhaul from the bottom up in every area of our lives, starting with the IDF. We must not waste any more time. It is particularly noteworthy that Minister Rafi Eitan has proposed repairing and preparing shelters all over the country - in light of the possible face-off with Iran itself. Indeed, Ahmadinejad is mortal. But someone should take care of that matter without screwing up, as happened in the case of Nasrallah.

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