Sunday, September 03, 2006

Saving Olmert's Hide

Read how Ha'aretz columnist Yoel Marcus is trying to save Olmert's hide:
Yes, there were bungles that need to be investigated. If Olmert were the prime minister of England maybe he would save his skin by sacking Amir Peretz and Dan Halutz. Maybe he would be chucked out himself. But with so much anger over the mismanagement of the war, the dilapidated state of the bomb shelters and the way the home front was left to fend for itself, it was obvious that the clamor for a commission of inquiry would not be given up easily.

Olmert has chosen to appoint three investigation committees, one for each aspect of the war. He has said no to a state commission of inquiry. This time, he is right. A year-long probe, with lawyers, witnesses and a war of Gog and Magog raging at home while the Gaza and Palestinian front still looms before us, is a luxury we cannot afford.

It is important to investigate, to fix whatever needs to be fixed, and kick out those who have screwed up, but we don't need a state commission to do it. Anyone who wants a judge is free to petition the High Court. Israel is a democracy, and leaders can be brought down when the country goes to the polls or by a majority vote in the Knesset. In the end, the voter has the last word. There is no reason to drive the country insane with a state probe.
It is no secret here in Israel that the investigation committees that Olmert set up lack teeth, as pointed out by INN:
Olmert's committees would have no authority to subpoena witnesses or to have officials fired, whereas a state commission of inquiry would have these authorities.
What's worse is the idea of those being investigated appointing their own investigators:
Lawmakers have stated that despite the impressive lineup on the committees, the move by the prime minister wreaks of an attempted cover-up, insisting a self-appointed commission cannot legitimately investigate the actions of the very government that appointed and oversees it.
(I personally saw an article in HaYisraeli, showing how most if not all those appointed by Olmert to investigate the war have received favors from Olmert in the past or are in need of favors in the future. Too bad that I did not save the article, and too bad that HaYisraeli doesn't have on online edition!)

It is sad that a journalist like Yoel Marcus would choose to support such an obvious attempt at hiding the truth.

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