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WILL OLMERT SURVIVE?

Bereaved Parents: Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Failed Miserably In Conducting War & Should Resign Immediately

A growing wave of protest is sweeping over Prime Minister Ehud Olmerts conduct of the war with Hezbollah. Not only political rivals buts some bereaved parents of fallen soldiers are demanding that Olmert resign.

:: IsraCast Audio ::

Will Prime Minister Ehud Olmert be forced to resign over his his conduct of the war with Hezbollah? Olmert and his coalition government are facing a mounting wave of criticism.

Sergeant Refanael Muskal

Prime Minister Olmert is struggling to prevent the appointment of a state commission of inquiry into the war. His cabinet must give its consent so that may not be his biggest worry. Today Olmert is facing an even greater threat - bereaved parents of fallen soldiers are launching a campaign to force his resignation. Sergeant Rafanel Muscal fell in the first week of the war when his commando unit was sent to take the Hezbollah stronghold at Maroun Aras. A few days later, his father Moshe even sent a letter of support to the Prime Minister saying Rafanel had died in a just war and that Hezbollah must be totally defeated. But Moshe Muscal is now demanding Olmerts immediate resignation. He charges that Olmert has bungled and the war ended in a shameful defeat for Israel. Rather than bringing peace to Galilee, it had laid the groundwork for a new war.

Interviewed on Israel Radio, the bereaved father answered some burning issues of the hour:

Question: But does Ehud Olmert bear all the responsibility?

Muscal: The Prime minister bears responsibility together will all his government. What have we achieved in this war?

Question: But why didnt it go well?

Muscal: 'Nothing went well. Everywhere you look it went badly. My sons comrades have returned home telling what happened. Look what occurred in the years before the war. My son went on reconnaissance missions and saw Hezbollah building its strength and its bunkers along our border. Our soldiers were ordered to do nothing about it; to wait for the devil knows what. It was evident what was going to eventually happen. This war broke out after Israel slumbered for six years on the northern front. ( The then prime minister, Ehud Barak withdrew from Lebanon in the year 2000).

Question: But that happened over six years ago, Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz have been in office for only months.

Muscal: Olmert served in the previous governments. But now Im looking at what transpired during the thirty days of war. For what happened before, you must go back to the other Ehud - the performance of both Ehuds will be considered by the public now. Ehud Olmert conducted a thirty-day campaign and he failed in every single thing he touched. If the alternative for survival is either to kill or be killed, Im in favor of being on the side of those that kill

Question: What should Olmert have done?

'My sons seventy-year old grandmother said that in a war with such a fierce enemy why do you send soldiers into areas where you have no idea where youre sending them. If it was necessary to burn, he should have burned - if it was necessary to destroy, he should have destroyed.

And Moshe Muscal added: Look, this is a war against a cruel enemy. Its a matter of kill or be killed. Its not nice, its not humane and no one likes to do it. But this is our only alternative in Israel to survive. The trouble is we looked at the snow on Mt. Hermon and thought it was the Alps - and that our neighbors beyond were Swiss or Norwegians. But we dont have neighbors like them. We have Hezbollah, a fierce enemy lead by a little Hitler. Instead of destroying this enemy our government did the opposite and totally decimated our deterrence. The members of the entire government should tender their letters of resignation. They should not screw us around with this or that inquiry. It will not reveal anything new about the political echelon. As for the military, the IDF must prepare for the next war that will come in another five days or five months. We havent finished the previous hostilities and the next war is at our doorstep.

Like my wife says our struggle now is to save the fallen in the next war. Next Friday, well hold a memorial march for our son from his graveside. If Ehud Olmert resigns before then we will end it there - if not, we will march to the home of the Prime Minister.

This could be the start of a protest movement similar to that lead by Motti Ashkenazi after the Yom-Kippur War in 1973. It eventually lead to the fall of the Golda Meir government. Adding to Olmerts woes, the comrades of the two soldiers abducted at the start of the war, have sent a letter of protest to the Prime Minister. They are angry that Eldad Regev and Udi Goldvasser have not been released as part of the ceasefire resolution.

David Essing

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