Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Winograd Report: No Winners

By Leonard Fein (Peace Now)
And then the Labor party, the pathetic Labor party, unable to decide whether to cling to power (such as its power is) by remaining in an Olmert government or to quit. Peretz wants to stay, Yuli Tamir wants to stay (and I always take Yuli seriously, even when I don’t understand her), Isaac Herzog wants to stay; others, including Ayalon, want out. Barak? One day “yes,” the next day “no.” The latest rumor? If Labor quits, Olmert and Kadima will offer the Defense ministry to Netanyahu, and Likud will replace Labor in the coalition. The mongers of that one evidently believe that Defense is an offer Likud will be unable to refuse. After all, that would mean that in the next election, whenever it takes place, Netanyahu will be running as the incumbent MofD. The ploy seems transparent; it is not meant to tempt Likud so much as to force Labor to stay. Labor has much twisting to do, but hey, why not? Twisting has become a Labor specialty. Labor does not want to face Netanyahu in a general election, not yet, but it cannot force Kadima to replace Olmert with Livni. Complicated? Not really. It is enough to know that, true to its recent past, Labor has neither policy nor plan.

And Shimon Peres, who says he wants Olmert to stay but that he is prepared to take on the burden of being interim prime minister should Olmert fall and Kadima, now his party, decide to turn to him. Too coy, by half. Peres is an immensely gifted man who is on the verge of becoming a caricature. That is not because he is well into his 80s; it is because something trips inside him when he gets close to power. The visionary statesman becomes, unbecomingly, a ward heeler. Over the course of the more than 40 years I have known him, there has been much that has been dazzling – and too much that has been off key. No living person has contributed more to Israel, in more arenas, than he – yet every time he tries to present himself as a man of the people, he comes across as a schemer. And now he, too, disclaims responsibility for last summer’s war. It is unpleasant to behold him in his current stance.

And this from a friend.
Good time to contemplate "b'midbar"--in the desert. See posting (up one) from Arnold Eisen of JTS.

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