A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
January 25, 2008 In the Shadow of Winograd
This is the week that the Winograd Commissionís final report is due to come out. It is scheduled to be released on Wednesday at 6 PM Israel time. All the events of the week need to be seen the prism of that report. Today for instance, one could hear two very opposite views of the effect of the open border with Gaza. After meeting with Palestinian leader Abbas today, Prime Minister Olmert called it a strategic crisis, that Israel has lost all the advantages of the disengagement from Gaza. Meaning, this is a crisis and not the time to change prime ministers. The defense establishment is saying that the situation is not so bad and it might even be opening up new possibilities. Certainly with Barak remaining in Davos, it is hard to call the event an emergency.
The decision to start building a fence on part of the border with Egypt has finally been made. The first section will be near Eilat and the second section will be near Nitzanim. In both cases, the border is very close to populated areas and thus the population is more at risk and there is no time to catch up with an infiltrator.
Minister of Foreign Relations Tzpi Livini met with the bereaved families today that have been calling for Olmertís resignation. She publically castigated those who had marginalized them. Again can you say Winograd? Some commentators believe Olmert has done an excellent job of spinning and he has inoculated himself from the effects of the report. We will know soon enough.
The parade of news coverage on the Israeli electric car initiative continues. There was a four page spread in Business Week this weekend.