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Olmert is terrible

Reader comment on item: Israel's Strategic Incompetence in Gaza
in response to reader comment: Israel's 2006 war with Lebanon now bears fruit

Submitted by Candlestickian (United States), Jan 20, 2009 at 00:37

I wish I could trust Olmert's intentions, but could they be just nakedly political? Plus, having gone as far as they did, you have to wonder if Israel should have clearly finished off Hamas so that it could not rise again. Seems like they fell short of that. So, Hamas may be badly wounded but will rise again. Meanwhile, world opinion (just listen to BBC reports) is going to swing hard against Israel once the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza is revealed to television cameras. Olmert is inept at conveying or articulating Israel's side to the world, and so, Israel will lose the "PR war," although it is far more important than just PR. This is not PR, but about national survival and finding a path toward less violence against innocent people.

Olmert's only course at this point is probably to foot the bill for rebuilding Gaza, probably not directly but through some new international relief organization. Not the UN...too corrupt. Israel needs to show, literally, that it can be a constructive and caring government. It cannot let Hamas regain its footing by playing this role.

I was not one of those who was negative on Bush, but I am glad Obama is now president; I hope he brings a fresh perspective and a renewed vigor to American leadership in all respects, including on Middle East policy. Israel badly, badly needs the same sort of infusion. I hope it comes soon.

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