Despite Nasralah’s gasoline, Winograd will not burn Olmert alive!

The committee investigating what really happened when Israel invaded Lebanon and had its mighty army defeated by Hizbollah in an unprecedented manner is expected to blame the government and the man leading it.
The Winograd report is due on January 30th and Ehud Olmert is got to be dreading that day when his people are reminded again of how their famed army was humiliated by a bunch of militants. The defense minister of the time Peretz is out of office now and Olmert gets the rap this time all alone.
Last time the government was criticized about the offensive and what supposedly caused the humiliating defeat, even the closest in his own party such as Tzipi Livny, called for his resignation.
But last time Olmert was in a situation in which he had lost the meaning of his own political existence and his party’s. He was declared by all polls as the least popular premiere in the history of Israel and it made sense: the reason for Kadima’s creation, Ariel sharon’s unilateral withdrawal project - that was dubbed a middle of the ground solution between what Labor wants and what Likud wants - had failed. Olmert went after Hizbollah in Lebanon and the result was devastating for Israel. Last time Olmert was empty handed.
When a man is standing with a small fire beneath his feet, there is always that someone who will run with all his might and force carrying a can of gasoline to poor on the fire. Hassan Nasrallah wasted no time to pre-empt the Winograd report by going out in person, a rare event that says he does not fear Olmert’s promises to kill him, to deliver a public speech in which he declared: guess what? We have Israeli soldiers’ body parts here, not just the two captives Olmert hasn’t managed to release yet.
Nasrallah’s gasoline turned the fire ablaze in Israel and the media there isn’t yet finished with the Nasrallah kick between the legs; of course, all at the expense of Olmert’s dignity. The kick came just in time to help Olmert’s enemies if they dare try get rid of him. Only, Olmert this time is not empty handed. He has embarked on a project that the Americans want realized and any action against Olmert now is action against the peace process. Who dares piss off the United States of America?
Those in Kadima who can’t wait to place their backsides in Olmert’s chair have no choice but to wait. Ehud barak who was waiting for the chance to turn tables on Olmert’s head lost his chance the minute negotiations with the Palestinians started. Benjamin Netanyahu has no chance unless elections are held now and since no one else with a viable capacity is interested in this project in the midst of negotiations, fat chance.
Therefore as insulting and humiliating Nasrallah’s declaration was, the Olmert of various corruption charges is used to humiliation and he feels pretty secure despite whatever will be published in the Winograd Report at the end of the month.
But he shouldn’t be deluded. If he thinks the negotiations that saved him now will continue to save him in the future he is wrong. Unless these negotiations are fruitful, the peace process will fail. Every failure of peace process in the past was followed by escalation in violence, hostilities and major insecurity. The peace process that saved Olmert from Winograd, if it fails, can end Olmert’s career once and for all.
As for Barak who managed to crawl out of the political graveyard as a result of lack of viable leaders at the disposal of Labor, and in a ridiculous turn of events win the leadership of his party and sit as defense minister in Olmert’s cabinet, he needs to be extra mindful of his own reality.
It was he who was the grandmaster of the last failure in peace talks and it was he who caused the launch of the second Intifada and elevated the bloodshed to unprecedented levels. One more mistake and Labor will prefer to dissolve itself as a party rather than see his face representing them again.

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About Ramzi Khoury

Ramzi Khoury is an opinion columnist and satirist who publishes a weekly page, Piece of Mind, at the Saudi Gazette and elsewhere every Wednesday, Ramzi E. Khoury started his career in Granada Television in the 80s working on documentaries and since then has worked in the print, television and radio media all over the world. In addition to reporting with international news agencies he held several posts in the media including Chief Sub Editor/Political Editor of the Jordan Times, Editor in Chief of the Arab Daily newspaper and Secretary General of the Arab Media Organization. He continues to be adviser to several newspapers, television and radio stations as well as online media. He has worked with numerous satellite channels on television programs, documentaries and news and is often invited to offer his political analysis on television and radio stations from all over the world especially on Mideast and related issues. Currently based in Malaysia with extensive travel in the Middle East and Europe Khoury advices governments and private sector organizations on Perception Management with focus on issues related to politics and religion including the divide between the Muslim World and the West and is active with several non-government organizations. Before Malaysia he was based in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Palestine, Jordan, USA and the UK in order.

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