Olmert Spinning Out of Control

He had a golden opportunity to fulfill his promise

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

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Arutz 7

Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has outdone himself with his latest spin. He said that the government-ordered withdrawal from Gaza left Hamas so weak that now it is more likely to free kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit - if Israel pays the same price that the terrorists demanded before Operation Cast Lead.

The IDF pulverized Hamas in the mini-war against terror in Gaza, driving the Hamas hierarchy underground and
His ugly spin that an idiotic unilateral withdrawal has forced Hamas's hand is an insult.
shaking the local populace's faith in the terrorist organization that has mocked every moral value possible.

Hamas made every mistake possible, from assuming that Israel would continue its overdrawn policy of restraint to figuring that the Arab world, which hates and fears Hamas as much as it does Israel, would come to its aid.

Hamas anticipated that the IDF was the same armed forces of the Second Lebanon War, that Gaza is southern Lebanon and that its militia is Hizbullah. It expected the entire world to wipe its eyes in tears as its terrorists attacked Israel from United Nations buildings and schools, sent suicide terrorists to blow up Israeli soldiers, and stole humanitarian aid and sold it on the black market.

The Prime Minister held all the cards. He had a golden opportunity to fulfill his broken promise of more than two years ago, when he said he would not sit down and negotiate with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas until Shalit was returned. All he had to do was order the IDF to stay put, without firing a shot unless attacked, until Shalit was back home.

Instead, he again let the international community run the government, scurried off to hob-knob with the VIPs from the European community, and shipped Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to Washington to placate the outgoing Bush administration and the fledgling Obama government.

His most galling action was to have the chutzpah and audacity to claim that the vanquishing of Hamas will force Hamas to give up Shalit, which it should have been forced to do before the withdrawal.

The people of Israel are fed up with the soldier's remaining in captivity after more than 940 days, but Olmert has cynically left the entire country at the mercy of Hamas. The Prime Minister has wasted away an opportunity to bring back Shalit without making concessions that will help the stature of Hamas rise from its own immoral dust.

It is bad enough that Prime Minister Olmert has left Shalit at the mercy of Hamas's demand. His ugly spin that an idiotic unilateral withdrawal has forced Hamas's hand is an insult to the Shalit family, to every man and woman in uniform, and to every person with any sense of morality.