A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
May 14, 2008 Missile Hits Ashkelon, Major Action in Gaza Inevitable.
Today the news should have been dominated by the 60th anniversary conference that President Peres arranged in Jerusalem on the Future of Israel and the Jewish People. Luminaries from around the world are attending, including world President Bush, elder statesmen such as Henry Kissinger, and business leaders of the new millennium including the founders of Facebook and Google. Unfortunately, the present intruded on the future when Palestinians in Gaza successfully struck an Ashkelon mall with a direct missile hit. Dozens were injured. This happened at the very moment that President Bush and Prime Minister Olmert were meeting.
Hamas praised the attack, which could not have happened without their approval. They believe that the attack will push Israel into accepting its truce proposal. I believe the opposite will happen. There is now only one painful solution and that is the annihilation of the Hamas state in Gaza. It will be painful and it is already time to cry for the soldiers who will not come back. Unfortunately, only a successful military attack, in which all of the Hamas leadership is destroyed, will give Israel the possibility of living in peace with the Palestinians.
Throughout Israeli and Zionist history there has been a rejectionist camp that refuses to accept any real compromise, the only way to reach compromise it to eliminate that camp. Israel tried to pull out of Gaza and give the Palestinians a chance of living in peace, but it did not work. Ultimately, the only solution is a two state solution. Sixty years ago David Ben Gurion had the courage to declare the independence of the State of Israel. He knew the risks but was willing to take them. The current leadership is very far from the "right stuff" that made up the leaders of the Yishuv at the time. Lets us hope they have the courage to act, and lets pray for those who will pay the ultimate price. Freedom is never free.
Fighting continued in Lebanon today. Hezbollah has established roadblocks throughout Beirut, underscoring its control of the country. The Arab foreign ministers met, and the Syrians managed to sabotage an attempt to criticize Iran for what is going on in Lebanon. The Sunni Arab world blames Syria and has made it clear that it is up to Syria to fix what has happened.
A new poll was released today on Israeli political views after the current affair. 66% of Israelis are not happy with Olmertís performance as Prime Minister, while 24% are. This is virtually unchanged. 51% of Israelis want Olmert to wait for an indictment to resign, while 43% want him to resign now. If he does resign 64% want new elections. If that election were held with Olmert running he would receive 6% of the vote, with Barak receiving 20% and Netanyahu receiving 34%. Most interesting, if Olmert does not run Livni would receive 29% of the vote Netanyahu 30% and Barak 16%.