Sunday, January 08, 2006

Let me try to sort out my conflicting feelings about Sharon's plight. First of all, now that he reminds me less of Il Duce and more of Generalissimo Francisco Franco, my heart truly goes out to him. I pray for his recovery -- as a human being, as a Jew, and as one who in the past was a great leader. In fact, as much as I disagree with what he has done for the past three years and, especially, with the way he has done it, I know that there is no steadier hand on the trigger when something needs to get done. After him, we face the danger of small fry committed to some fiction called "Moreshet Sharon" but without any of the qualities of leadership necessary to put on the brakes when necessary. Been there, done that, got burned.

But let me not sound pious. I do not wish to see Sharon return to politics. (DELETED) The man has been a serious menace. There is nothing more dangerous than the kind of autocrat, accustomed to being surrounded by flunkies and yes-men, whose wife has died. For such people, wives are the last reality check and when they go, all restraint goes with it. (Think of Rav Shach zt"l or, yibadel lechaim arukim, Rav Ovadiah Yosef.)

I am especially not sorry (under the circumstances, the phrase "positively gleeful" seems inappropriate) about the plight of all of Sharon's flunkies. In retrospect, the creation of Kadimah was akin to luring all the slimiest Israeli politicians onto the Titanic. Without Sharon, it will sink slowly but surely, with Israel's two most despised politicians, Olmert and Peres, squabbling over control of the lifeboats. With any luck, Tzippi Livni -- whose utter lack of charm, grace and charisma is occasionally mistaken for intelligence -- will go down with them. Uri Dan, who no longer serves any useful purpose, will be out of a job by the end of the week. Omri Sharon, who just lost his get-out-of-jail-free card, will not pass Go and will not collect $200.

Oh, the humanity.


Blogger Zalman said...

But will Kadima sink enough?

In today’s New York Times, Michael Oren (innocently) suggests that Israelis continue to want to get things done, NOW (and don't bother me with the details). “After 40 years of deep division, now maybe 75 percent of Israelis are pretty clear about where they want to go. The Israelis want it [to unilaterally redraw Israel's borders] and if they don't get it, they won't send their sons and daughters to fight over there.”

Two interesting/alarming points:
1. Oren does not pin his view on the success of Kadima; merely that the next coalition will be center right. (If Oren is right about Israeli sentiment, then why not Kadima? That would explain the polls.)
2. Oren acknowledges that “The big wild card is: Qassam rockets on the West Bank. If they succeed in launching them, Israel's flexibility really shrinks because the main airport is in range, as are many of Israel's industrial centers.” The idea that Israelis will acknowledge the threat of Qassams and still want to redraw our borders to become even more vulnerable to Qassams is alarming (but consistent with "I want something done NOW").

12:35 AM  
Blogger bar_kochba132 said...

Zalman points out something that EVERYONE seems to assume is a fact-that the large majority of Israelis have decided to give up most of Judea/Samaria unilaterally. The last election, in 2003, had a large majority vote AGAINST a unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, but Sharon did it anyway. Now, all we see is chaos and violence in Gaza and rockets flying our way. So why does everyone assume that most Israelis want more of this? The argument that "they won't fight anymore (as Olmert has said)" was proven incorrect in 2002 during "Homat Magen" when it was decided to take on the terrorists. Maybe this belief is due to the fact that the Gush Katif people, and their rabbinical and YESHA people simply folded up and didn't protest it in any meaningful way. Well, there aren't any protests when there are large terrorist attacks either, unlike 20 years ago or more.
Israelis seem to be punch drunk rather than just defeatist. Thus, it is not clear to me that Israelis want another Leftist, defeatist gov't, although Netanyahu seems to think so and he is trying to move the Likud also to the Left.
We'll see what kind of Knesset list is chosen this week.

4:48 PM  
Anonymous yehupitz said...

Great insight about widowed autocrats.

6:41 PM  

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