Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Who's To Blame? Olmert, Peretz, Halutz, and the Israeli MSM

While most Israelis were talking about the Winograd Commision interim report's strong criticism of Olmert, Peretz and Halutz, the part of the report that deals with their predecessors has taken a back seat. We must remember that the Second Lebanon War was a result of the pullout of Israeli troops from Lebanon in 2000 by then Prime Minister Ehud Barak:
"At the same time," Winograd said, "though the responsibility of the above three is supreme, many others were partner to the above problems." He noted that Hizbullah's readiness was not dependent on Israel, and its ability to "sit on our border and build up its military capabilities" was the result of our unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000. In addition, the lack of readiness was the responsibility of previous governments, and the fault of false and out-dated conceptions that did not take into account the entire realm of threats against Israel.
Before the pullout from Lebanon, leftist groups like the "Four Mothers", with active help from the Israeli MSM (in particular Carmela Menashe,who even boasted about this) created the public atmosphere for Ehud Barak to withdraw our soldiers from Lebanon. It's amazing that after everything that happened the "Four Mothers" website still contains the following:

Indeed, the wicked do not repent even at the gates of hell. The "Four Mothers" did not repent even after they put an entire country through hell.

The pullout, as is well known, brought about the "containment policy", which led eventually to war:
As Israel withdrew from its self-imposed security zone in southern Lebanon in 2000, both then-prime minister Ehud Barak and then-chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Shaul Mofaz warned Lebanon and Syria that any attacks on Israel would incur "a very painful response."

But ever since the withdrawal, the IDF has responded to the many Hizbullah attacks and provocations in a measured and localized fashion, aiming to contain any escalation and end each incident as quickly as possible.

The most prominent example of this policy of containment was the October 2000 kidnapping of three soldiers from Mount Dov. Israel responded with a limited bombardment of Hizbullah positions. Mofaz, then army chief, told the Winograd Committee that back then, he recommended a much wider, but still measured, response, but it was rejected by the cabinet. The Winograd panel calls this decision the beginning of the "Age of Containment" that led, eventually, to the Second Lebanon War.
What's worse is that the "containment policy" was not a result of Israel's security interests, but rather of the political interests of the Labor Party which wished to portray the withdrawal from Lebanon as a success:
In his testimony before the committee, Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh said the decision take a measured respond to the October 2000 kidnapping came from the desire to avoid painting a grim picture of the withdrawal from the security zone so soon after it was carried out, and to prevent the opening of a second front after the outbreak of the second intifada a month earlier.

Sneh added that another reason for the containment policy was to allow the residents of the North "breathing room" after years of living under Hizbullah bombardment.
Today the Israeli MSM is full of reports detailing the Winograd Commision report and the failures of Olmert, Peretz and Halutz. I wonder if the pundits ever ask themselves where they were in the year 2000 when Ehud Barak pulled our troops back to the international border. How many of them protested the immoral abandonment of our allies in South Lebanon? Who among them realized that the withdrawal would encourage the Arabs in the PA to increase their attacks and start another "initfada"? Where is the pundit that understood that the retreat from Lebanon was the sowing of the seeds of a future war?


JoeSettler said...

I found it troublesome when I heard the introduction to the Winnograd report being read on the radio.

At one point he said that the backdrop was the decision by Israel to leave Lebanon which allowed Hizbollah to reach our border.

He did not name Barak as the maker and implementer of that decision.

I found this worrisome because listening to the pundits on the radio afterwards, they kept discussing Barak as if he was a qualified candidate for Defense Minister - ignoring that he was the unnamed person who laid the foundation for this mess.

Cosmic X said...


This is just another example of the Israeli MSM spinning the news for the politicians that they want to push. Until the media in Israel starts functioning as a "watchdog of democracy" and not as the watchdog of the Israeli Left, Olmerts and the like will continue to rule the country.

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