The West is pushing Israel back to peace talks after the Gaza war. But J.J. Goldberg reports that Israel has made a ‘dramatic’ reversal — and won’t consider agreeing to a Palestinian state.
Israel’s state comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss, in his second-to-last report before retirement, delivers a searing critique of the Netanyahu-Barak government’s handling - make that catastrophic mishandling - of the lead-up to and aftermath of the May 2010 Turkish flotilla incident. The report charges haphazard, seat-of-the-pants decision making in place of planning, consultation and staff work. Yediot Aharonot political-military commentator Ron Ben-Yishai writes about the report’s broader implications for Israeli security - the evidence that Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak simply ignore the elementary requirements (including legal requirements) of good defense and intelligence work when they make fateful decisions about Israel’s future. He worries - as do numerous other commentators in the last few days - about the fact that these are the guys who will decide whether or not to take Israel to war against Iran.
The fire in the Carmel is horrible, and the deaths are painful and deeply felt. But the tragedy that played out wasn’t a twist of fate or an act of God. It was an act of persistent, long-term, almost willful government negligence. Israel has almost no firefighting capacity—pitifully few firefighters working with a tiny stock of aging and dilapidated equipment. I’ve got some comparative statistics below on Israel’s fire-fighting preparedness compared to other countries.
Israel got suckered, the same way it gets suckered over and over. It walks into situations where it will inevitably come out looking like a bully, arouses worldwide anger and then gets indignant when it’s condemned. It’s like watching Charlie Brown charge the football, knowing that Lucy will snatch it away as she always does.