Say it ain’t so Mo: Israel needs a Shaul on defense

Magic MofazIsrael facing the gamut of threats seems to have its Fox on the block? Why the Korban?

Labor ego run amok

This is one magic trick that is somewhat less amusing. Only in the world of Israeli coalitions can this sort of craziness go on. The press in Israel have stated as much, Olmert has stated as much, Labor has stated a much, Shaul Defense Minister for 5 years, Iron Man of Israel is slated to be replaced by Amir Peretz!? In order to understand how I feel about this self serving pile of camel dung being served fresh, we need to look back.

When Arik put a Shaul in the hen house..

Ariel Sharon won the 2003 Israeli election and the Likud secured a massive 40 odd seat sweep. The bulldog was back hard, Sharon, being the only PM to be elected back to back in Israeli history. This big win had come after Labor leader Ben Eliezer had yanked his own party from the coalition previously, selfishly I might add in a self serving manner while Israel was at war in the second intifada. Labor paid a big price.

The Magic Man

That earlier Labor politically motivated move left Ariel Sharon with a slim majority in the Knesset. To shore up the public confidence after the treasonous Labor moves, Sharon named former IDF Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz to become the Defense Minister of Israel. Fateful stuff history would show.

This was a Sharon classic, Mofaz had used the sharp tool of the IDF to pound the enemy. He was an Iron Man, the move drew condemnation and woe from around the World, seen as a serious shift right towards a more military stance. Myself I was ecstatic already a big fan of Mofaz’ via his IDF chief stint. To have Sharon as the PM and Mofaz in defense it seemed to me in the height of war a victory was now assured, this was somewhat biblical as far as I was concerned.

The spirit of resolve, Mofaz deserves some of the credit

Indeed, Mofaz and Sharon broke the Intifada, established unheard of military moves that shocked the planet and are today grounded Israeli policies. Mofaz played a key role in breaking Hamas from the suicide violence. Equally, while steering the IDF as minister Mofaz made deterrence a political reality of sorts again. This guy is a hero as far as I’m concerned.

After Ehud Barak’s bumbling, and Ben Eliezer’s schtick, the boys were back in town and it showed on the ground with some tangible results. A spirit of resolve was imbued in the Israeli public and they made us Diaspora Jews very proud, it’s not a small matter. Of course not all the credit is laid at Mofaz’ feet, but he did a good job. While everyone wonders how to handle Kassams, Mofaz calls and spurs the IDF on daily, ratchet up the pressure is his command, and if it doesn’t work he’ll find something that will. These are admirable qualities, this is defense after all.

Mofaz was part and parcel, to Sharon’s unknown in detail, vision. 

When Sharon recently created Kadima, Mofaz was hesitant at first to make the move from the Likud. But it says much, very much indeed that Sharon wanted Mofaz with him. He again extended his hand to Mofaz, and again Mofaz grasped it and joined Kadima.

Olmert is stated as being committed to this vision. Posters not of himself, but of Sharon were plastered across Israel and labelled Kadima, how is it that Olmert is putting the Fox out? Is this Sharon’s vision? To placate Labor’s unearned ego by sacrificing Mofaz.. I don’t think so myself, and for what?

Part II

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Citizen Ministers are fine, this is not the issue

Amir PeretzMuch talk in Israel about the debate between citizen Defense Minister, or former General. Irrelevant it is said, both are fine, Moshe Arens himself an excellent citizen as Defense Minister poignantly explained on Israeli News that it is the man that is important, his experience, his judgement, his ability, not whether he is a civilian or a general. He stated that the job is one of the most difficult & critical in all the land.

Amir Peretz is no doubt a good man, committed to an Israel of his own personal vision, anyone who doubts this is a fool. To vie for the leadership of Israel is devotion of a magnitude that deserves high praise. But it does not NOT make him a good choice for Defense Minister.

He doesn’t have a shred of the experience, his views are widely known as a social champion of Labor, this has NOTHING to do with the IDF, nothing to do with defending Israel from external threats in any way. He has no familiarity with the tools, assets, and strategies of defense. He’s a union man, one whom is incidentally practically prepared to dialogue with Hamas, who are sworn to Israel’s destruction. Those skills are not what I would consider top on the list for this ministry.

The Defense of Israel, or Amir’s ego?

Haaretz: Mofaz, who had to call Peretz yesterday morning to deny having anything to do with reports quoting the minister’s "associates" saying it would be irresponsible to make the Labor head minister of defense. Mofaz’s office issued a statement expressing his respect for Peretz and his conviction that he would discharge his duties faithfully. [...]

Labor, desperately trying to position their socialist man of the hour as the next leader of Israel and build him up in light of the election results and his obvious experience shortcomings, see no red lines as being uncrossable. The misgivings shooting across Israel are not Mofaz’ misgivings, they are the misgivings of all, including Labor voters themselves. Amir is not particularly qualified for the task. It is not just irresponsible, it is grossly irresponsible.

The Labor bumblings, led by Amir himself this past week showed just how resolute Peretz is, resolute to do anything that’s good for Amir many would say, including making a farce of his own voters, including marginalizing Israel’s electorate at large to accommodate labor, including what can only be termed sheer folly. Folly that left even Israel’s most experienced analysts dazed and confused. Even Meretz, practically supporters of the Pan Islamic Caliphate were shocked at the goings on.

Whether by strategy or plain megalomania, either way the showing is poor.

If Amir was employing strategy as some have suggested in his recent ‘coup d’etat’ move to steal the government, it speaks volumes to his lack of Sun Tzu abilities. Hardly the guy as first choice you want helping direct Israeli military strategy by any measure I would argue.

If he was merely acting as a megalomaniac gone wild, then again these are not qualities befitting Defense Minister, any way Labor props it this is a non sell to rational people. You either want the best for the people of Israel as an ideology as claimed, or you do not. Fictionally praising Amir as a solid choice for Defense is not the best move for the People of Israel as I see it.

Iran, Hamas, rockets, nuclear weapons, a fragmented Government..

The threats are endless, it takes a real genius to break the flow now, to remove a 5 year term Minister who by every measure has performed with skill, and slap in a strike happy bureaucrat with no experience in these matters whatsoever. Only in Israel will you see this, its the politics, the self serving nature as exemplified above. The electorate? Not impressed, and with good reason.

Olmert, Amir.. Measure this and show some humility

Ynet Posts poll results: Globes-Smith poll conducted by pollster Rafi Smith.

While Labor Chairman Amir Peretz is still considering which senior portfolio he should take, 37 percent of the general public would like Shaul Mofaz to remain as defense minister, and only 8 percent prefer to see Peretz fill the job. Some 22 percent mentioned former Shin Bet Chief Ami Ayalon (Labor) and 16 percent mentioned former Shin Bet Chief Avi Dichter (Kadima).

Among Kadima voters, Mofaz has the strong support of more than 46 percent of respondents, while 28 percent prefer to see Ami Ayalon in the Defense Ministry and only 19 percent favor Avi Dichter. Not one of the respondents mentioned Peretz.

Among Labor supporters, Mofaz and Peretz received a similar level of support – 22 percent, while Ami Ayalon wins the battle on the defense portfolio with 40 percent.

The majority of the public (52 percent) believe that if Peretz accepts the defense portfolio he would be violating his promise to handle social-economic issues, but 60 percent of Labor voters agree with the claim that he would be able to deal with these issues also as defense minister and that it would not constitute a violation of his promise to the voters.

I don’t know how this long story ends (apologies), but I know that the public did not vote Amir Peretz PM, they did not mandate Amir Peretz to Finance Minister, and they most certainly do not support him in Defense. Why Labor insists on making it seem so eludes me.

Find some other way to placate Labor’s gigantic and totally unwarranted ego. "We’re major players, we’re senior partners", you’re a bunch of self serving Poopy Heads is what you are (I stole this poopy thing), with 19 silly little mandates in the most fractured mess of a government seen in a long time. Olmert has shown some humility of sorts recently, embracing Labor as a partner despite their recent idiocy, where’s the return? Mofaz has polled with 37% of the public in support, it’s the most consensus the country has seen in a long time.

[tags]Israel, Politics, Defense, Military[/tags]