Archive: Aug 2006

Earlier this year, I chanced to be at a public meeting with the great Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post. Afterwards, a gentleman from the audience casually made some allusion to some or other aspect of the Jewish calendar, at which I looked momentarily befuddled. And so Caroline helpfully explained to him that “Mark’s not a Jew, but he plays one on TV.”   By which she meant that, as I publicly “defend” Israel (which is, in itself, a curious formulation,…
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What are we seeing when we watch events from the Middle East on our television screens? Is it news or is it terrorist theater?  Let us observe two media events which occurred on Sunday in Gaza. Sunday afternoon released hostages and Fox News journalists Steven Centanni and Olaf Wiig spoke before the cameras. The fact of their release and their statements were reported by more than 1,000 news organizations throughout the world.  At the press conference, Centanni and Wiig, who were force…
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Today two groups of protesters are gathered outside the Prime Minister's Office. The Movement for Quality Government is demanding the establishment of an official commission of inquiry, headed by a Supreme Court justice to investigate the handling of the war in Lebanon. Down the road, IDF reservists are demanding that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz and IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz resign.  The critical question arising from the separate protes…
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At around 4 a.m. Saturday, Lt. Col. Emanuel Moreno, a senior commander in the General Staff Reconnaissance Unit (Sayeret Matkal), was killed in a fierce battle with Hizbullah fighters near Baalbek in the Bekaa valley not far from the Lebanese-Syrian border.  From the details of the commando raid that have filtered into the media, we learned that Moreno and his men were airdropped into the area by helicopter along with their two Hummer vehicles, with the mission of attacking a Hizbullah base…
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Since the cease-fire was implemented in Lebanon, we have heard scattered reports indicating that a prisoner swap with the Palestinians may be in the works. In exchange for hundreds if not thousands of Palestinian terrorists now held in Israeli prisons, IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit, who has been held hostage by Palestinian terrorists for nearly two months, may be released from captivity.  These reports lend weight to the view that things are back to normal. Terrorists kidnap Israelis and hold them…
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From all sides of the political spectrum calls are being raised for the establishment of an official commission of inquiry to investigate the Olmert government's incompetent management of the war in Lebanon. These calls are misguided.  We do not need a commission to know what happened or what has to happen. The Olmert government has failed on every level. The Olmert government must go.  The Knesset must vote no confidence in this government and new elections must be carried out as…
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There is a good reason that Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah has accepted UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which sets the terms for a cease-fire between his jihad army and the State of Israel.  The resolution represents a near-total victory for Hizbullah and its state sponsors Iran and Syria, and an unprecedented defeat for Israel and its ally the United States. This fact is evident both in the text of the resolution and in the very fact that the US decided to sponsor a cease-fire resol…
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As the Israeli people waited Thursday for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to implement his cabinet's decision to widen the ground offensive in Lebanon, Britain found itself under siege. British security officials announced that the entire country was on a red alert for a terror attack. The night before, British security forces foiled a terrorist conspiracy to explode some ten US-bound passenger jets.  As London's deputy police commissioner Paul Stephenson told reporters, "This was i…
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It is hard to know how the current phase of the war will end. If all goes according to Condoleezza Rice's plan, the UN Security Council will vote today on the draft cease-fire resolution negotiated between the US and France.  Whatever marginal diplomatic gains the Olmert government may try to convince the public the draft resolution contains for Israel, the fact is that regardless of the language eventually adopted, and whatever force of French, Egyptian, Turkish, Italian and German sol…
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The good news is that Israel has not lost the war. We can win. As the IDF's long awaited ground assault is demonstrating, on a tactical level, the IDF has been able to learn on the go, and learn well.  The bad news is that Israel's national leadership has so far managed to take every political and strategic advantage that Israel has, and turn it into an impediment. Today, assuming Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will let us win, what three weeks ago could have been a rapid victory will n…
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