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      Fundamentally Freund
      by Michael Freund
      An alternative approach to Israeli political commentary.
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      Michael Freund is Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), which reaches out and assists "lost Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. He writes a syndicated column and feature stories for the Jerusalem Post. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Israeli Prime Minister´s Office under former premier Benjamin Netanyahu. A native of New York, he holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He has lived in Israel for the past decade.
      Shevat 23, 5768, 1/30/2008

      Winograd vs. Spinograd



      Essentially, Mr. Olmert and his handful of supporters are hoping that some good old fashioned Spinograd will obscure what Winograd truly had to say about his pitiful leadership
      The ink was not yet dry on the Winograd Commission's report on the Second Lebanon War, but that didn't stop Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's aides and associates from trying to put a favorable spin on its conclusions.

      In a desperate attempt to stave off their boss' political demise, Olmert's men sought to latch onto any crumb of information in the report that could be portrayed in a positive light, even if the bottom line was extremely critical of the Government.

      And so, when Winograd declared the ground operation at the end of the war to have been essential, Olmert's spinmeisters were quick to tell the media: you see! you see! We were right after all to have launched the attack!

      Of course, what they are deliberately choosing to ignore is that the very same Winograd report declared that the ground operation "did not achieve any military objectives nor did it fulfill its potential." In other words: it failed.

      This is but one example of many. Essentially, Mr. Olmert and his handful of supporters are hoping that some good old fashioned Spinograd will obscure what Winograd truly had to say about his pitiful leadership.

      Perhaps the two most critical lines in the 500 page document are these: "We found grave faults and failings both in the political and military echelons in the lack of thinking and strategic planning. And we found grave faults and failings in everything concerning the defense of the civilian population and the challenges presented by the blows it suffered."

      No matter how you try to splice it, the result is the same: Olmert blew it - he was a colossal failure.

      In the coming days, there is sure to be more spin sent our way. Whatever you do, don't let it distract you or confuse you. We must all raise our voices loudly and clearly: Ehud Olmert has got to go.