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Monday, July 03, 2006

Olmert doesn't inspire confidence

Although he has generally been saying the right things during the hostage situation, Olmert does not strike me as someone who believes a word he is saying. I am very uncomfortable with a PM who seems to be more a bullheaded technocrat than someone who is acting out of pure love of Israel.

I have never felt such a disconnect to an Israeli PM before. Even milquetoast Peres has occasionally staunchly defended Israel's position well in the international arena. But when I see something like this coming out of the Prime Minister's office, all I can think of is that he is full of it:
These are not easy days for the State of Israel but we have no intention of capitulating to blackmail. Everyone knows that capitulating to terrorism today means inviting the next act of terrorism. We will not do this.

Um, and isn't forcibly removing Jews from their homes capitulating to terrorism? Just as with previous releases of prisoners, the intent was never to capitulate to terror - but the effect is exactly that, leading it to become Hamas policy. Words that should be inspiring end up looking like hypocrisy.

Similarly, when he spoke at the 35th Zionist Congress to the residents of Sderot:
I want to take this opportunity, here and now, to tell the residents of the south, to the people of Sderot, to kibbutzim such as Yad-Mordechai and Nahal Oz and Kfar Aza and other communities: no one is more familiar with the level of the pain, anxiety and uncertainty which you are experiencing these days.
Coming from someone who couldn't be bothered to actually visit Sderot, it feels like just what some speechwriter wrote for him, and not something he truly believes.

And no matter whether he is from the left or the right, Israel needs a leader who believes what he says.