The widow of late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, who was killed during a military parade in Cairo, was later asked by a journalist: “Aside from the murder, did you enjoy the parade?”
I remembered this tasteless question while paying close attention to the speech delivered by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the Herzliya Conference earlier this week. Olmert was boasting over the fact that for 25 years now we have not seen the kind of quiet that has prevailed in the north of Israel at this time.
This is certainly true. The problem is that our count does not include the past year and a half alone, but rather, the past year and seven months. That is, if we also count that extra month, July 2006, the picture changes somewhat.
We could say, if we utilize Olmert’s counting technique, that we have had no war like the Second Lebanon War for 60 years. We could say that since the end of 1948, the Israeli home front has not faced the kind of offensive that we faced in the summer of 2006.
Never before, including during the Yom Kippur War in 1973, has Israel’s north been bombarded with such power. Even during the First Gulf War, only a small number of missiles landed in Israel. We can certainly say that never before has an Israeli military leadership encountered such level of mistrust as Olmert and his government are facing.
Enjoying the quiet in Tel AvivWe too, aside from that war thingie, certainly enjoy the quiet in the north. With the exception of the Qassam rockets ceaselessly fired at the southern town of Sderot, we are quite pleased with the quiet that has prevailed in Tel Aviv.
With the exception of the uprooting of the residents of Gush Katif and the huge outburst in the Gaza Strip, we are truly enjoying the disengagement.
The calm has been kept. Yet to PM Olmert’s misfortune, the Winograd Commission is not looking into the calm after the storm. It is in fact looking into the (false) calm that prevailed before the storm, and mostly into the manner in which Olmert managed the storm itself.
With the exception of that storm, and if we just fail to count all the manipulations, and failures, and cases of corruption that we have seen, other than that our situation has never been better.