Gideon Samet warns in today's Ha'aretz that the Israeli people are "in bad hands": ...Operation Rainbow turned into one of the Israel Defense Forces' most embarrassing campaigns yet. The troops may have moved slowly, but failure came fast. And over it fluttered a black flag of violating international law. We are looking at the classic case of an army with unreasonable objectives marching into a predictable ambush. The IDF was sent in to restore the momentum and reputation it had damaged so badly last week. It will be returning from Rafah very soon with these two components of military might sadly diminished. Shaul Mofaz and Moshe Ya'alon have shown such poor judgment that if they were running a corporation, they'd be out on the doorstep: The stocks have hit rock bottom; the goals are unachievable and the world market has responded with a thumbs down. The board of directors would send them packing with a golden parachute. The trouble is that the army's board of directors is the government, which is guilty of strange behavior itself and headed by a leader who is losing altitude. This combination of a government that has no path and an army that has lost its way because of it, has been harming national interests for years. It's not only war, as they say, that is too serious to be left to the generals. The same holds true for civilian government. The understanding that exists between the top brass in the army and the government is what contributes to the lack of clear "civilian" thinking and critical awareness. How can any creative policy emerge from a line-up that consists of Sharon, Mofaz and Ya'alon, with ministers like Benny Elon, whose latest idea is to send the Palestinians to Australia, screaming on the sidelines?


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