UPDATE (7:00 pm Thursday): Police are still investigating the terrorist Grad missile strikes on Eilat last night.
The irony of the terrorist rocket attacks on Eilat last night is inescapable.
The two leaders of the Israel defense establishment, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief Benny Gantz, have spent the week focused on everything except what they should have been focused on–the situation in the southern Israel.
Ehud Barak is now focusing exclusively on cracking down on Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and making pronouncements about Iran–two areas in which he has become Israel’s de facto prime minister.
The disgraceful event yesterday in Hevron concerning the Machpelah House where Barak–acting solely on his authority and in defiance of a Cabinet decision–had the Jewish owners of the house evicted was followed later in the day by the spectacle of Barak holding a news conference in which he announced that Israel would wait until 2013 to possibly go after Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
And where has the passive, do-nothing Benny Gantz been? Touring IDF bases in the north. According to an IDF statement three days ago: “Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz held a surprise visit and inspection of Northern Command bases, including the region’s technology and logistics base.”
Mostly Gantz was soaking up the flattery of Shimon Peres who was cavorting with Gantz around the Golan yesterday talking about the lack of bikinis in Egypt causing a decline in the Egyptian tourism industry (yes you read that right). Peres went on to blithely intone about about Gantz’s “integrity and courage”, and to note that “I trust the General Staff and its leader, his stately, serious and elaborate approach.”
Ironically, Peres hit the Gantz nail on the head with the phrase “elaborate approach” because that is all that Gantz does. He never acts, preferring to draw up endless plans to deal with endless contingencies. Here is the IDF spokesman’s office announcement about what Gantz is doing today: “ Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, held a situation assessment today, Thursday (April 5) due to rocket fire hitting the city of Eilat overnight.”
If there is one thing you can count on with Ehud Barak and Benny Gantz, it is that they will hold endless assessments for endless contingencies–and conclude by doing nothing except organizing bikini tours for Shimon Peres on the Golan Heights, export seminars for Hamas farmers in Gaza, and home evictions of Jews in Judea and Samaria.
Meanwhile southern Israel burns.
ADDENDUM: And what is the IDF reaction to the Eilat rocket fire? The talk this afternoon is that one of the few Iron Dome batteries in Israel will now be rushed to Eilat (thereby leaving Ashdod, Ashkelon, or Beersheva exposed). All defensive measures in the Barak-Gantz world are now passive.
THIS DATE IN ISRAELI HISTORY:
On April 5, 2002, Sgt. Marom Fisher (19) of Moshav Avigdor, Sgt. Ro’i Tal (21) of Ma’alot, and Sgt. Oded Kornfein (20) of Kibbutz Haon were killed by Palestinian terrorists in Jenin.